Kaci Hickox’s media frenzy and her continued deviance resulted in a Maine judge siding with Hickox, lifting the governor’s quarantine of Hickox. For Hickox and her supporters, this is a definite win in what has been termed a “violation of civil rights” and freedoms. However, the Examiner reported on Friday that Hickox’s roommate in West Africa was suffering from Ebola. According to the Examiner’s source, PJMedia.com, “Sheila Pinnette, of the Maine CDC, has released information that the roommate of Kaci Hickox, while in West Africa, has displayed symptoms of Ebola.”
“Displaying symptoms of Ebola” means a possible infection with Ebola. The roommate of Hickox has no idea how she possibly became infected. So, Hickox was exposed to Ebola during work hours as well as off-duty hours, since she was probably not associating with her roommate in a hazmat suit during off-duty hours. But, Hickox is now roaming the open areas of Maine without any restriction other than to “not go into crowded areas,” since she did not want to make anyone uncomfortable.
According to Dr. Beer:
This may seem somewhat reactionary, but if we consider the risks posed by the returning health care worker to those who did not sign up for this hazardous duty it seems a little more measured.
For instance, did the people bowling or riding the subway consent to the potential exposure posed by the nearby infected physician?
Did the nurse who refuses to self-quarantine ask the people she plans to interact with whether they agree to assume whatever degree of risk that her potential infection poses?
In both instances, the answer is most assuredly no. Neither of these people asked those around them whether they would consent to a potential biohazard exposure.
This is materially different than the nurses and doctors who consented care for the Dallas Ebola patient or the healthcare workers caring for the doctor in New York. They all signed up for the job of dealing with this risk.
Dr. Beer has a point here. While Hickox and other of her colleagues “volunteered and signed up” to care for Ebola stricken patients in West Africa, the gross majority population of the United States did not. Nor did the gross majority populations consent to a potential biohazard exposure from Dr. Craig Spencer and Kaci Hickox. Does not the population, who did not consent to exposure, have the “right” to be protected from a potential deadly contagious disease? Of course they do. How do the “rights” to freedom of Hickox and Spencer, after consenting to be exposed to a contagious deadly virus, trump the rights of those who did not consent?
The answer is that it doesn’t. Hickox has the duty, responsibility and obligation to follow the law in the Nurse Practice Act. If Hickox refuses to do so for whatever reason, she is subject to sanctions, including suspension and possible revocation of her license to practice nursing. Dr. Craig Spencer is also bound by the law concerning physicians in medical practice. These two do not get a “pass” on violating the law because of a “service” performed in a particular area.
While the liberal left and die-hard supporters of Hickox and Spencer have chastised many of us pointing out Hickox’s “unprofessional” behavior through name-calling, accusing some of us of attacking this woman because of her politics or engaging in slander, the fact remains none have reputed the obligation this nurse has to follow the law, nor have they proclaimed this nurse as abiding by the Nurse Practice Act. They would rather focus on those of us who write under pseudonyms as messengers of falsehoods when accurate sources are quoted and the law referenced. Ms. Hickox’s political affiliations and employment with the CDC did not play into her lack of ethical and moral obligations until she “lawyered up” with a well-known civil rights attorney with White House ties, making her “stance” a political one to support a political rhetoric against quarantine.
The old adage of “it’s better to shoot the messenger than focus on the message” runs strong with some.
Medical professionals–doctors and nurses alike–have supported a quarantine for returning health care professionals based on sound principles, the law governing health care professionals and based upon ethical and moral practice. States laws governing health care professionals exist to ensure the practitioner is “safe” and will not cause harm to those for whom they are charged with providing care. Any health care professional who violates that law has deemed themselves unsafe to practice their profession and should be dealt with accordingly. The professional conduct cited in most state nurse practice acts charges the nurses with exercising their duty and obligation to keep the public safe – that means not contributing to spreading a contagious deadly illness.
Dr. Beer contends that common sense would dictate that we protect the rights of those who did not consent to being potentially exposed to Ebola through returning health care workers by means of policy in order to prevent the development of a critical mass of infected individuals that would impede our ability to care for them all. For once this critical mass is reached, individuals will be relegated to being cared for in local community hospitals with unprepared staff, instead of controlled isolation units with trained staff.
And what of the co-workers of returning health care professionals? Without a quarantine to ensure the returning worker was free of Ebola, this opens up cases of legal litigation against employers from exposed co-workers. Dr. Beers, again, cites this as an issue that needs to be addressed in policies “developed in a measured, realistic manner.”
For all the posturing done by the federal government, die hard Democrats and the liberal left against quarantine as trampling on the “rights” of these pundit sanctioned “saviors of the afflicted,” no thought is given to the cost in potential litigation resulting from possible Ebola infections, nor is any thought given to the rights of individuals who did not consent to being exposed to a potential biohazard. Again, not one single thought has been given to the responsibility one has when they, of their own free will, choose to consent to potential exposure to a contagious, deadly virus.
But, then again, those of us who think in these terms are “fear-mongerers,” “spreaders of lies,” “slanderers of the sanctioned saviors,” and “vile haters of these individuals exercising their rights to freedom,” instead of being recognized as individuals who support personal responsibility, upholding of the law governing health care professionals, and the right to freedoms of all the people – even when multiple independent medical sources agree with those of us pointing out what should be obvious to all.