Kaci Hickox is a quarantine-free woman….For now.
On Friday, a Maine judge sided with the nurse who defied orders to be isolated for a period of 21 days following a trip to Sierra Leone. There Hickox had treated a number of individuals suffering from Ebola alongside Doctors Without Borders participants.
When Hickox arrived in the United States, she was determined to have an elevated fever.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s new Ebola policy isolates ANYONE who exhibits any possible symptoms. This includes fevers.
Kaci Hickox resented the forced isolation and has been defiant of the wishes of officials ever since.
Her justification is that the move to quarantine indiscriminately comes from a place of fear and paranoia.
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) October 31, 2014
Hickox’s stance was strengthened when she later tested negative for Ebola. She has also shown no symptoms since her initial forced quarantine.
Even so, authorities wanted Kaci to stay within her home for a period of three weeks as a simple precaution.
Hickox and her defense team were able to convince District Court Chief Judge Charles LaVerdiere that Maine officials were not able to provide a valid reason for this.
Norman Siegel, one of her lawyers, commented that Hickox “won”.
“She is not quarantined. She can go out in the public.”
He added that LaVerdiere understood “what liberty is about”, saying that state authorities had no right to restrict Hickox’s movements without “compelling justification”.
But Siegel may have been wrong about the matter being completely settled in the favor of his client.
There is a new hearing scheduled for Tuesday, one that may finally determine one way or another Kaci Hickox’s fate.
Despite Hickox saying that she’s doing this to help overcome the hysteria surrounding Ebola and to fight for her rights as an American, she is not very popular with the public.
Many are outraged at her behavior. It isn’t merely because they believe she is putting others in danger. For some she is setting a terrible example as a medical professional.
— CNN (@CNN) October 31, 2014
What’s to stop another nurse or doctor from actively defying quarantine requests in keeping with the example Hickox has set? One who MIGHT begin to infect unsuspecting citizens with Ebola?
Could Kaci’s actions snowball into attitudes and behaviors that put a number of U.S. citizens at risk?
Americans are worried that attitudes may swing from one extreme to another, moving from heightened, unwarranted fear to casual and blase disregard.
It is clear that Hickox is a brave individual who was willing to help those in need. But many ask what the true cost is of her recent behavior?
Is Kaci Hickox a hero who’s forcing Americans to see Ebola in a mature and rational light? Or is Kaci Hickox a spoiled, entitled individual who may be putting others at risk with her behavior?
The debate rages on.
What do YOU think of Kaci Hickox and her recent behavior? Should she be entitled to defy a quarantine request?