Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 415–416 | Cite as

Using the Ebola Outbreak as an Opportunity to Educate on Vaccine Utility

  • Brandon Brown
Letter to the Editor

The first domestic death from Ebola in the United States occurred in Texas in October 2014. Family members who were potentially exposed to the infected individual were legally and involuntarily quarantined. Quarantine may not be a recent normal practice in the United States, but it was used extensively during the influenza pandemic in the early 20th century. However, health care ethics comes into play when we quarantine someone whose infection status is unknown versus active. To prevent the spread of a pathogen, one person may be held against his or her will and that person’s freedom is terminated. Quarantine may be acceptable in the case of Ebola, as it is particularly virulent and there have been more and more potential cases in the United States (and elsewhere). As a result, the general population may understand how isolation and quarantine may help prevent the spread of Ebola. We must use this epidemic as an opportunity to educate the general population on ways to prevent the...


Influenza Measle Smallpox Measle Vaccine Vaccine Uptake 
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Copyright information

© Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Pty Ltd 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Program in Public Health, Department of Population Health & Disease PreventionUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA

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