The flu, TB and now Ebola: A rare legal remedy returns
The New York Times - 10/26/2014
The last time patients in New York City were forced into isolation came with the outbreak of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in the early 1990s, said Wendy E. Parmet, professor of health policy and law at Northeastern University School of Law. In those cases, officials targeted those recalcitrant patients who refused to take their medications, she said, rather than every person who tested positive, and even that practice faced court challenges. The approach resulted in the less restrictive “directly observed therapy,” in which patients were forced to take medications in front of officials, she said.
“I’m very troubled by what we’re seeing and not seeing,” Ms. Parmet said of the current isolation efforts. “Coming down hard makes good press but it doesn’t make good public health,” she said.
Ms. Parmet added: “Treating nurses like criminals is not the way to go.”