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Should it be ok to quarantine a person with a highly contagious / deadly virus or force them into treatment?

Should it be ok for people who are highly contagious with a deadly virus to be forcefully quarantined or forced into treatment?


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I struggle with this one...

to answer the OP's question: yes. I struggle with this aspect of Libertarianism (minarchist/anarchist), similarly to child welfare laws and autonomy or lack there of. The way I think of it is this: if someone attacked you on purpose with a knife then that's morally wrong and it would be morally right to prevent person A from attacking person B. Well what if A purposefully infected him/herself w/ smallpox and then coughed all over person B? Is that any different? In fact it could be argued it's more dangerous then running around with a knife attacking people one at a time. So we should probably stop that. And for me that last step isn't any different: if you've been diagnosed w/ multi drug resistant TB, or Ebola, or whatever, and you're refusing to either be treated or wear a mask or what have you, then how is that different than purposefully infecting people? You can't put innocent people at risk from your own bad decisions. Just like you can drive drunk on your land but if you go driving across a playground full of kids that's not OK.

So yes: intervene. I hate it, but it's the morally right thing to do to prevent person A from harming innocent person B. In fact I think there's been legal cases of HIV + men having lots of unprotected sex w/ women w/o telling them of their HIV status w/ the sole purpose of infecting them. Same idea.

Caveat: if you want to stay home and die w/ your disease w/o putting anyone else at risk, then I guess that's okay as long as you stay put.

My problem is not with violations of the NAP per se

But with a state that regards violations of nap with impunity.


Self defense

it is an expression of self defense.

learn civics.

It is ok to bring them before the judges

The judges can send them away to dwell alone and place these instructions on record for the protection of others.

"45 And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean.
46 All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be." Leviticus 13:45-46

I don't know how to figure this stuff out without scripture. Must be sharp as a tack.


Hear, O Israel: YHUH our God YHUH one. And thou shalt love YHUH thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Edit: doh! I posted on the

Wrong thread! Lol

I'd rather have a bottle in front o' me than a frontal lobotomy

Yes and No

Yes, quarantines are necessary to prevent the spread of disease, but I do not think one can force a treatment upon another. It is one thing to prevent people from harming others, but it is another thing to prevent them from harming themselves.

In an anarchist society

you simply eliminate the contagious individuals. Problem solved at little expense.

It is all just a ruse to distract you from real events.

It's all about money and control. There is no disease coming, or going, only poor sanitation. Israel is bombing Palestinian power plants and hospitals. No power plants, you get disease. No hospitals, you can't treat sickness. They're killing them by all means necessary. This stuff about ebola is just another distraction.

Watch the documentary: Deconstructing the Myth of AIDs. There is no "AIDs", just doctors killing gays with DZT.

When did common sense become a super power?

I really hate seeing this stuff...

We cannot trust or believe anything the media says... it's all discredited.

When did common sense become a super power?

The perfect excuse for people to accept mass quarantines ...

... and the culling of thousands of their fellow citizens.

"Timmy didn't make it. He got sick and they took him away to the FEMA camp for quarantine. They also took his family and some of their friends because they were exposed."

When and if an outbreak happens here, I will question whether it is a contrived act or an unfortunately act of nature?

Fear will have people running to the government for help and many will except the martial law that follows.

Fear will allow people to accept the forced quarantine of their friends and neighbors, for some even their families.

I am a cynic and perhaps a bit paranoid after all these years studying how the Establishment does it's business. But this situation plays into their hands anyway you slice it.


"The greatest mystery of all is truth." - Me, 2009

Prefect excuse

For Martial Law. With executive order 13295 just passed from Obama.

Money talks and dogs bark

This thread is a perfect example of a lack of common sense

The hypothetical was about quarantining someone with a "highly contageous / deadly virus. We are talking about somenthing airborn with a high serious illness rate. We are also talking about an illegal.

This is where the logic of the unsullied libertarian wanna be breaks down. The pure as the driven snow libertarian never wants to consider actions AND consequences, only action. So, quarantining is an act of violence and must be avoided. Allowing an illegal to take lives by spreading drug resistent disease is an act of live and let live... except... people die.

The same is true for the open border crowd. They want to discuss the action, "open the borders", but not the consequence of massive public wellfare expenditures, reduced wages, higher unemployment among citizens, etc....

They want to address issues with tunnel vision, as though, once we conform to the perfect libertarian ideal in this moment, all will follow neatly and pleasantly in the next. In fact, what we often do is put ourselves in the position of advocating for preposterously irresponsible positions:

By advocating that patient zero be allowed to roam the
countryside infected with a new variant of airborn
Ebola-Zaire, we violate our own tenant of non-violence and,
advocate what amounts to the eradication of the human species.

By advocating open borders, we insure the grown and influence
of the government and corporate plutocracy that stands to gain
the most from a growing dependent class and the fracture of the
American self dependence culture.

So, libertarians seldom play chess. We don't think more than one move ahead. We want to "feel good" about that first move, without regard to the position that move places us in. And then its, "what hell hath we wrought, we so pure of heart." We have remained true to our philiosphy in the now, yet hindered any overall movement towards a world in which that general philosophy may thrive. It is as if we are playing a game.

So you want to get out of the hypothetical...

There is no patient zero wandering around with airborne Ebola. We aren't even sure Ebola can be airborne- it's a theory. As far as we know, no one is wandering around with Ebola in the USA.

There is not any law that I am aware of that gives doctors or hospitals the right to quarantine or treat patients against their will. They might try. It might seem like a good idea to some, but unless there are clear laws in place this power could easily be abused. I think there are laws that allow the President to declare an emergency and put people in quarantine. I am not happy about that. We can not allow the discretion of a few to hold such power over all. This is a matter that should be legislated by representatives of the people.

I would rather take my chances with a few TB victims than be held or treated at a hospital against my will.

But if I had TB or any other infectious disease I would self-quarantine, as I do with all other serious sicknesses of my own.

wolfe's picture

The first life threatened is a crime.

To be dealt with accordingly. So you are putting up a strawman.

Your border assumptions "lower wages, etc" are mostly fallacious and flat out wrong, as well. The welfare state is the only legitimate argument you made on that. But would breaking the back of welfarism be such a bad thing? No one should get welfare, but it won't go away until people become disgusted with it.

Libertarians frequently play chess and many other intellectual, strategy based games by a much greater percentage than non-libertarians. Look up the statistics on the primary political idealogy adopted by the "smart kid" clubs.

There is no situation that someone can't find a "greater good" argument, and no extreme that the "greater good" crowd won't go to given enough time and power.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

Basics economics says

that either wages will drop, or unemployment will rise among the unskilled American workforce. You and I may not be directly affected (although Visa's for highly skilled workers may), but the lower classes will be. And its all fungible, because either the unemployed immigrant or American worker will require assistance.

The "labor market" is the American labor market, or else the game is fixed, with big business able to shift the supply curve out through political action(graft, bribery, corruption). This is grossly unfair.

We don't live in a vacuum. To say "no one should get welfare" may be true, but it shouldn't be relevant to our position on the border, simply because we ARE a welfare state.

To represent "breaking the back of welfarism" as a good thing is a stretch. Once again, your not looking a move ahead. Think Cloward-Piven. Breaking it's back means breaking my back... and yours, because we pay for it. Further, it's elimination may certainly drive us further into statism, not away from it.

I don't know what percentage of libertarians play chess. But I do know that applying libertarian principles in a vacuum is not the answer.

Don't get me wrong. I probably share most of the same final objectives as you. But I fail to see how, in a practical sense, opening the border and general lawlessness moves us towards those goals. And I do know that there are certain very extreme public health scenarios that call for collective action (no not global warming). That would be one of the few truly legitimate responsibilities of government, IMO.

So, I commend your ideological bent. We need more extremists for Liberty (to borrow a phrase) IMO. But please, don't join with the socialists on immigration policy. Trust me, they have diabolical designs.

Remember Mad Cow.

Turns out it was a non-contagious copper deficiency. Mad Sheep ataxia and Mad cow occurs when the animal graze on soils with insufficient copper.

Or when the is insufficient copper in the feed supplement.

Wasn't their something phony about AIDSs.

Who is to decide? The same loosers that have been hitless for the last century.

Wherever they decide to spend money most will be wasted and very little will do any good to potential victims.

Free includes debt-free!

I've never heard that about mad cow

I have some reading to do, thanks!

Cool thing is

that an organic farmer named Mark Purdey figured out that a combination of copper deficiency and insecticides could cause "Mad Cow" symptoms.



Having been on both sides of a MRSA infection, I am familiar with dangerous infections. I was practicing in hospital isolation, for my patients that got it. My own MRSA infection continued, for too long, since the oral antibiotics I was given were ineffective. (knew it from the start!) After receiving vancomycin through a pic line, it was cured. When given that antibiotic in the hospital, when having the hardware remove from my back, I had an anaphyactic reaction to it.The next IV antibiotic kept me from getting any recurrence. I was in isolation after big admitted into the hospital to treat a spinal abscess, about six weeks after my discharge from physical rehab..

The e-bola is not resistant to cleaning substances we use, commonly, in this country, so it is easier to kill than MRSA! We need a vaccine. But, at its present level, and only 800 dead, that is going to be slow in development. Maybe it will be here soon, since the seemed to have something available for one US patient who contracted the disease.

In the end, we must be very careful with the e-bola virus. Keeping it out of the country would be the best idea! I don't know why the people giving the care in Africa, and contract the infection, could just get cared for, over there. Time will tell!


In the case of Ebola virus which may now become a global pandemic, the answer is probably yes.

Ed Rombach

I lean towards no

I could be wrong, but lets take that and run with it.

I believe most people would voluntarily quarantine themselves, so what about the few that may not? If the threat was that serious, people would begin acting violently against these few as they see it as initiating force against them and their families, maybe even people calling for the murder of them. If the patient was murdered, those responsible should be held accountable for their actions, regardles of whether the community sees them as a hero. Maybe the patient is kidnapped and held by doctors willing to go to jail and loose their careers over what they percieve as being a noble gesture. Not the most peacful way of solving a problem sure, but with the choas and fear of a situation such as this, it seems likely that society revert to a mob at your doorstep with an ultimatum metality. Point being that those carrying out the acts of aggression toward the patient need to be held accountable for their actions as well.

Of course this idea is not valid, because I never mention the role of government agencies. But this is I guess my "utopian" idea of how to violate someone's rights without obliterating the rule of law.... Since this isn't MSNBC, I figured we could try having this conversation. I'm certainly open to those who may have better ideas. Thank you

Now that I'm at my computer

Instead of my Sprint Telescreen 4G LTE, I had a free-market solution/idea.

If I had contracted such a disease to warrant this type of reaction from society, I personally would NOT want to
a) be responsible for causing harm to others by spreading the disease
b) Try to fight the battle of my life in a quarantine environment at a hospital, I don't think those places are very good places to be to inspire health, and you bet I want to be part of the 10% who live through it.

For the few who may not want to be quarantined, maybe a percentage of those people also have that feeling? (Now, to be clear, a) trumps b) in my book, no question.)

So... could there be other options, like a company that builds a "certified" quarantine environment at your home, who take the responsibility of maintaining and guaranteeing the integrity of the system, and staffs it with a Doctor of your choosing to work with you, based on your beliefs, through this terrible point in your life?

or, a charity service that picks you up in a "quarantine van" and drives you to a retreat with similar facilities as above?

No. Persuasion instead of


Persuasion instead of force.

I would voluntarily choose to quarantine myself as long as I wasn't gonna be stuck with a massive bill.

Are we going to give hospitals

the right to detain and imprison us? Because this is what I see.

Because everyone

retains the right to spread lethal disease?

This is where libertarians start to sound hippy-dippy.

Yep. Until the law clearly defines

*Which diseases must be quarantined
*Who diagnoses those diseases
*How the quarantine will be enforced

And in all those determinations, the widest possible freedom must be given to the infected because complete safety is not worth our freedom.

It looks like

your request has been granted. Does it say anything in the fine print about political affiliation?

Obama claims authority to quarantine on suspicion of infection


I figured as much.

Is this all based on Executive Orders?

Yes -- its self defense against a lethal agresor

When anyone is a lethal threat, (maliciously or accidentally or unconsciously it makes no difference) then yes to protect ourselves that person can and should be quarantined ... that is what prison is, and in the case of lethal medical threats, that is what a medical quarantine is.

It is all apart of our right to self defense.

Yes, please BUY this wonderful libertarian BOOK! We all must know the History of Freedom! Buy it today!

"The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism" ...by author George Smith --
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The Austrians would say Yes!

In a world where private property is respected, there would be no public property. In this world you would have the right to refuse anyone from entering your property. No one would, without serious precautions allow anyone with Ebola or contact with Ebola on their property. Therefore, the effected person would be by default quarantined to either their own property or the property of a hospital or other location able to care for them or at least prevent disease.

I also agree with the point about them being an aggressor if they knowingly infect others.