Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ebola Reveals The Arrogance + Selfishness Of Some In The Medical Community

...If I return from West Africa, I would of course quarantine. I'm not a narcissistic anti-human sociopath...John Nolte Tweet 

  • Two weeks ago, I wrote my first piece addressing Ebola {"Ebola: As Experts And The Government Trip Over Their Own Rhetoric, Who Are We To Trust?"}. In short, I pointed out we all have a responsibility to ensure we don't instill hysteria in the general population. (I noted fear is good. It makes one alert). But we also have a responsibility to report the truth about Ebola to the public. And it's precisely there where we have the problems. In the last several weeks, we've been witness to 1-misinformation and several changes in the protocol regarding treatment and quarantine and 2-medical personnel returning from W. Africa who themselves have not followed the protocol guidelines. Namely, they were to self-quarantine themselves but decided to violate those protocols.
  • We initially saw this behavior with Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC News Chief Medical Editor at NBC News. She allegedly decided to leave her self-imposed quarantine in Princeton and get some take-out at a local restaurant in Princeton, NJ.
  • Dr. Craig Spencer reportedly told the NYPD he quarantined himself in his Manhattan apartment after returning from a tour in W. Africa treating patients with Ebola. It was later discovered he actually decided to go bowling, taking the subway, jogging and visited at least one restaurant. 
  • And perhaps the most conspicuous example has been the behavior of nurse Kaci Hickox. She returned from W. Africa and was placed in quarantine in a tent outside of University Hospital in Newark, NJ. She claimed she didn't like the way she was being treated while being quarantined in a tent and all. She claims her rights were violated. Yes indeed, she happens to be a nurse who just returned from W. Africa performing a noble task taking care of patients with Ebola. Kudos! But where was she staying in Africa?---at the Marriott? And regarding living a tent, thousands upon thousands of people live in tents either camping or in emergencies or even when they happen to be homeless. Or as one observer remarked: "Are health workers who travel to Africa to save lives willing to jeopardize lives upon their return?" Great question. And today, upon her return to Maine, she told Matt Lauer of the Today Show that: "I don't plan sticking to the guidelines. I remain appalled by these home quarantine policies that have been forced upon me even though I am in perfectly good health..." {Her quarantine in Maine would end Nov. 10}.
  • While there remains a lot of misinformation and disorganization {largely from the administration and the CDC regarding Ebola}, Nurse Hickox should understand that breaking the current established protocols could place others in jeopardy. In fact, states and local municipalities do have the legal authority to protect the health, safety and welfare of people within their borders. Most states have laws in place to enforce the use of isolation and quarantine. On the other hand, citizens should and must confront authorities if they believe those same authorities are in any way violating the patient's rights under The Constitution. I believe NJ had the legal authority to quarantine this particular patient. But we can leave that to the courts to decide if it ever goes that far.
  • The point of all this is simple in my opinion. In the case of a vicious disease like Ebola, arrogance and selfishness by some patients can have a devastating effect on the rest of society. And we have the right not to be exposed to this deadly virus. Medical personnel should take this disease more seriously.
  • Of course, if the administration had effective protocols in place months ago, we wouldn't even be discussing this. But since the viral WMD is here, the medical profession has a responsibility to uphold their oath instead of whining like a child that's just been placed in time-out for misbehaving.