The return of infectious diseases has brought back a series of techniques for controlling the spread of disease labelled quarantinist measures. Since such measures typically infringe individual rights or privacy their use is subject to legal regulations and ethical scrutiny. Yet in some circumstances they can be very effective. After considering some case studies that show how epidemics are unique, fluid and affected by a multitude of contingent factors, it is argued that the legal and ethical guidelines may not be the best approach to discipline the use of quarantinist measures. An alternative model based on ex-post political accountability for reasonableness is put forward.
- public health,
- infectious disease,
- health policy,
- legal regulations
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/giovanni_degrandis/1/