The Constitutional Implications of Ebola: Civil Liberties & Civil Rights In Times of Health Crises

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
UC Irvine School of Law, Room EDU 1111

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This public forum addresses the constitutional and public health implications of the Ebola response in the United States. According to state and federal laws, patient information is deemed private and is to be held in strict confidentiality. However, in the wake of Ebola, well-established protocols to guard patient privacy have been neglected or suspended without any public debate. Already there has been litigation about when states can use their quarantine laws in trying to prevent the spread of Ebola.

At this forum, a panel of experts raises questions not only about how to contain the disease, but also to what extent Americans value their healthcare privacy, civil liberties and civil rights. To what degree are Americans’ Ebola fears influenced by the origins of the disease? What liberties are Americans willing to sacrifice to calm their fears? How to balance the concern for public welfare with legal and ethical privacy principles?

Following the panel discussion of public health concerns and issues, Reverend Jesse L. Jackson and UC Irvine School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky will discuss civil rights and liberties, moderated by Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Biotechnology & Global Health Policy, Michele Goodwin. This armchair discussion will engage law’s role in protecting, promoting and balancing civil rights and civil liberties in times of perceived and actual national threat and disaster.

A press conference will follow.

Sponsor: Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy at UC Irvine School of Law

Cost: This forum is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Media: Passes for members of the media are available via online registration.

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