Public Health Ethics in a Pandemic

Public Health Ethics
Volume 13, Issue 2, July 2020


Public Health Ethics in a Pandemic
Marcel Verweij, Angus Dawson
Public Health Ethics, Volume 13, Issue 2, July 2020, Pages 125–126,
Ten years ago, we (re)published a historical pamphlet written during the 1665 Great Plague, by an anonymous inhabitant of London, entitled The Shutting Up Infected Houses (Anonymous, 2010; Verweij and Dawson, 2010). The author vividly argued against the practice of locking people up in their own houses as a means of preventing further disease transmission within the community. Many of those imprisoned in their own houses might not have been sick or infected at all. They were not treated as victims, but first and foremost, as a threat to others. The ‘quarantined’ families could only…