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Are Quarantines Justified

In October 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that travelers arriving in the United States from the Ebola affected countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia who do not have a fever or symptoms of the disease (including health care workers who have cared for patients with Ebola virus disease) should be actively monitored but do not need to be quarantined. However, after a New York physician, Craig Spencer, was diagnosed with the infection shortly after returning from Guinea, where he had cared for patients with Ebola, the states of New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Illinois announced that they would implement mandatory quarantine policies. Describe the ethical challenges these state and federal policies pose in terms of balancing individual rights and public health. Do you believe that a mandatory quarantine was justified? Why or why not?

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