Life and Liberty: Economic, Political and Ethical Issues Arising from 21st Century Quarantines for Influenza   [open pdf - 0B]

"Quarantine is a word that elicits fear among many. However, it is also a long-utilized and important policy tool for controlling the spread of infectious diseases. This thesis considers the role of quarantine for influenza outbreaks during the twenty-first century. I thematically review scientific literature on the ethical, social and political, and economic issues that have arisen from or have the potential to arise from quarantines for influenza. After identifying these issues, I make policy recommendations targeted at mitigating them. I then compare these with the World Health Organization's (WHO) Influenza Preparedness and Response Guidance to determine where our recommendations overlap and diverge. I propose a set of five additional recommendations to the WHO Guidance for governments considering implementing quarantines for influenza: develop of a body of experts and stakeholders for policymaking, use least-restrictive policy measures first, establish a duty to treat and its limits, determine who will be prioritized during cases of scarcity, and establish support and compensation mechanisms for quarantined individuals. My research contributes to the discourse around quarantine for influenza by identifying a broad scope of consequences of quarantine for influenza. It also contributes to the existing literature on quarantine design for influenza by proposing policies targeted at addressing the issues I identify. While this research is a start, there is still a great need for further research to prepare for and learn from influenza outbreaks. My recommendations fit well alongside existing influenza pandemic preparedness plans such as the WHO's Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Guidance during an influenza outbreak to develop robust disease control policy for influenza outbreaks."

2017 Simone Serat
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