Seminar: ‘From Typhoid Mary to Ebola: the limits of liberty in modern plagues’

Zeb Jamrozik, Green Templeton College Visiting Scholar and researcher at the Ethox Centre will be giving a seminar on some of his research on Wednesday, 16 September at 6pm.

The seminar will take place in the E P Abraham Lecture Theatre at Green Templeton College. Directions can be found here.

Zeb will discuss Mary Mallon, who was kept in isolation by the New York Public Health Department for over 20 years because she was an asymptomatic typhoid carrier in the era before antibiotics. Likewise, when facing a disease without treatment in the recent West African Ebola outbreak, authorities instituted the ancient quarantine tactic of a cordon sanitaire.

The threat of infectious disease has been met with various limitations on the liberties of individuals, and sometimes of groups.

In this talk Zeb will give examples from the history of such practices before turning to an account of when, why, and to what degree such restrictions are justified, drawing on emerging themes in public health ethics. He will also briefly discuss novel ways of thinking about related policy problems including mass vaccination and antibiotic resistance.

There is no need to register and the lecture is free to attend.