Briefly during fall 2014, many U.S. citizens feared that the United States would join affected countries in western Africa in confronting a serious domestic outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus disease. In response to the arrival of Ebola on U.S. shores, federal and state public health attention and intervention increased. Some responses in the United States—such as calls for travel bans, quarantine of health care workers, and stigmatization of and discrimination against western Africans (or anyone thought to be associated with Ebola)—merit scrutiny, both in relation to this ongoing epidemic and to prepare for future public health emergencies.
This book provides an overview of the ethical challenges related to the Ebola epidemic and endorses ongoing participation of the United States in the global response for both ethical and prudential reasons. It examines basics of the Ebola virus; discusses prevention of the spread of Ebola; and provides insight on the legal issues involved.