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  • Ebola goes to court

    Slate - 10/30/2014

    Historically, courts have tended to side with the quarantiner over the quarantinee. But the modern case history is dominated by cases involving tuberculosis, which—unlike Ebola—is highly contagious and easily spread. Still, the TB cases are relevant precedents here, because many of them were less about the current state of the individual being quarantined than their willingness to follow doctor’s orders. “It was more of a predictive question: What are the chances that they become non-compliant and then spread the disease?” says Wendy Parmet, the director of Northeastern University’s Program on Health Policy and Law. “It would be remarkable for the state to argue that the scientific consensus is erroneous. Instead, they’ll most likely need to argue that without the quarantine you can never know what the person might do—whether they’ll follow the medical recommendations or not.”

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