Rights and Duties during Emergencies

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Consider the following scenarios related to interoperability and its impact on emergency preparedness. Utilize your course textbook and assigned readings as well as search the South University Online Library or the Internet to answer the questions that follow each scenario.


Scenario 1

One of the primary goals of the public health system is to protect the general public. The citizens of the United States enjoy specific freedom and basic rights guaranteed by the Constitution. However, in an emergency situation, it is possible that specific rights such as the right to confidentiality of an individual may be compromised in an effort to protect the public.

Research the South University Online Library or the Internet for an article involving quarantining an individual. Based on your research, answer the following questions regarding the above scenario:

  • What occurred to warrant the quarantine? Was this justified?
  • Does the need to protect the public outweigh an individual’s right to confidentiality? Why or why not?
  • What other basic rights of an individual may be compromised in times of an emergency?


Scenario 2

A successful response to an emergency situation often involves collaboration with other agencies in the community and the government. Imagine you are the director of the local health department. You have just received a call about a suspected outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in the community.

On the basis of your understanding of the topic of “collaboration with agencies and the government” and the above scenario, answer the following questions:

  • How would you put your bioterrorism preparedness plan into action? Which agencies will be involved in your plan and why?
  • Would the agencies involved be different in case there was a natural disaster such as an earthquake? Why or why not?
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