I think that it is necessary for quarantines to be used to stop the spread of deadly infections. Before, I only thought that the ethical issues were between the general public and the people with the infections. Which, pretty much is the case, except that I now have a new way to think about it. The people with the infections may not want to be quarantined because it disables them from all of their individual rights. But then who is to say that the rights of everyone else is being protected when a disease/infection can be spread to them from people who are not being quarantined. Utilitarianism is a new word for me, and I am going to be using it as a main reason why quarantines should be used if needed. Utilitarianism is: the ethical doctrine that virtue is based on utility, and that conduct should be directed toward promoting the greatest happiness of the greatest number of persons (http://dictionary.reference.com/). Utility is the good to be maximized from actions, and "The ends justify the means," or the moral worth of an action is determined by the outcome (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilitarianism). Basically, it would be okay to quarantine people because it helps many more people. And the total individual rights of the general population is much greater than the individuals rights who has the infection.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I found it difficult to find anything about quarantines and infectious diseases on EBSCOhost. I resorted to searching on Google Scholar. I found plenty of sources there which was a lot more encouraging. I don't know if it was just bad key words or what.