How does nurse Kaci Hickox differ from Dr. Bruce Ribner?

A team of 21 nurses and five doctors at Emory University have won well-deserved praise from around the country for successfully treating all four Ebola patients that have been brought to their doors for treatment. Along the way, they have pioneered new ways of treating the disease that should raise survival rates around the world.

“For the first time, Ebola can now be thought of as a manageable disease,” Dr. Stephen S. Morse, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, told the AJC’s Craig Schneider. “We can’t guarantee the result. People do still die. But the majority of people here have survived.”

I do have a question or two, however:

Amber Vinson, left, and Dr. Bruce Ribner exchange smiles at a press conference announcing Vinson's full recovery from Ebola. (AP)

Amber Vinson, left, and Dr. Bruce Ribner exchange smiles at a press conference announcing Vinson’s full recovery from Ebola. (AP)

Why are Dr. Bruce Ribner, nursing director Carolyn Hill and other members of the celebrated Emory team still walking around in public, going to work and living their lives like anyone else? After dealing with the disease at close quarters day after day, why aren’t they being forced into 21-day quarantines until we know for a fact that they are not contagious, as Gov. Nathan Deal has mandated for health-care workers returning from volunteer work treating Ebola in Africa?

In short, why treat nurse Kaci Hickox, the nurse now fighting quarantine in Maine, as a pariah while treating Ribner, Hill and others on the Emory team as heroes? And if we did force Ribner, Hill and others into quarantine, wouldn’t that make other American health-care workers less likely to offer care the next time an Ebola patient presents himself or herself, just as experts warn is likely to happen now overseas?

You could try to argue that health-care workers treating Ebola patients here in the United States would be less likely to contract the disease than those working in Africa, but I can think of at least two reasons that argument is nonsense. Their names are Amber Vinson and Nina Pham, American nurses who became infected with the disease while treating Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas. (Both have been treated successfully — Vinson is among the four treated and released at Emory.)

The disease is the same, whether contracted in Africa or the United States. Lapses in protocol, wherever they occur, can have consequences. But on what rational, scientific basis do we require those who have treated Ebola patients in Africa to undergo a three-week quarantine, even when they show no sign of illness, while we impose no such requirement on those who have treated Ebola patients here?

There is none.

Reader Comments 0

734 comments
OriginalProf
OriginalProf

Maine judge just sided with the nurse.


I'm originally from NYC where we knew those northern New England states pretty well, as rural and fiercely independent. All were among the first 13 colonies. Some here have mentioned their state slogans, which all seem to be thumbing their nose at England. New Hampshire, "Live free or die"; Vermont, "Don't tread on me"; Maine, "Dirigo," or "I direct." The nurse's actions haven't surprised me. I've read though that her neighbors aren't too happy with her.

BeeJay
BeeJay

Give it a rest. Your sheep-ness is showing. The only reason you say what you do is because the prez and his minions said it.

Brosephus
Brosephus

New sheetz!!!  Hopefully, they're Ebola free to avoid unnecessary panic...

kayaker71
kayaker71

The purpose of any ;quarantine is to isolate the suspected perp prior to developing symptoms.  After  the perp develops symptoms, it is too late for a quarantine........  they already have the disease.  Hickox probably will not develop ebola however, it seems that the leadership in Maine just wants to be sure.  Nothing wrong with that.  If it is wise to quarantine the military for 21 days, as the Beast says, what difference does it make?

Tiberius-Constitutionus
Tiberius-Constitutionus

Isn't Maine a "live free or die" state? Or is that simply a meaningless slogan that sounds cute?

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

As to your last question, Jay, I believe you'd need to ask Obama and Chuck Hagel.

Denise285
Denise285

Sen. Landrieu's remarks on race anger Republicans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Republicans are calling on Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu to apologize after she suggested Thursday that President Barack Obama's deep unpopularity in the South is partly tied to race.

In an interview with NBC News on Thursday, Landrieu was quoted as saying that the South "has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans."

The comments came after an NBC reporter asked the senator why Obama has such low approval ratings in Louisiana. Landrieu's first response was that the president's energy policies are deeply disliked by residents of the oil and gas-rich state.

She then added, "I'll be very, very honest with you. The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans. It's been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a very positive light as a leader."

Landrieu is locked in a tight re-election battle with Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, and is targeted by Republicans nationally in their efforts to retake control of the Senate. Republican and tea-party favorite Rob Maness is polling in a distant third place.

http://news.yahoo.com/sen-landrieus-remarks-race-anger-republicans-023829358--election.html

td1234
td1234

The first and foremost ethics rule of the Medical profession is to "Do no harm". This nurse seems to be forgetting her ethical obligations. 

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

@Brosephus Sorry, it wasn't a point to you specifically.  Just a note that none of your comrades seem to realize that the  Republican guvs are not alone in their positions.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@td1234  Not feeding your irrational non-scientific based fears is not "harm".  Complying with the stupidity of overreaction that you demand would be harm.  Why next you'll tell us she's a witch and we must confirm that with some idiotic test and a demand that she be burned. 

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@td1234


And quit trying to be slick.  Someone else used that same line yesterday.  

No need to pretend you thought about that all by yourself.


LOL

KUTGF
KUTGF

@stands_for_decibels @Brosephus @Nobody_Knows  How sad is it that suddenly the governor of Maine has to say that he cannot "protect" her.  Since when do elected officials tell citizens they cannot protect them from non-existent but threatened mobs.

td1234
td1234

@Brosephus The CDC is clear (the science) that a person with close contact with infected Ebola patients could contract the virus with 21 days. 


An attempt to not take all the precautions to protect the general public against this risk is IMHO an ethical lapse. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

@td1234 @Brosephus  And the science which the CDC confirms after a number o fears of experience is that transmission is difficult even when you show symptoms and non-existent when no symptoms.  The family around the man who died in TX were with him for 3 days and NONE contracted. 


YouLibs
YouLibs

@td1234 @Brosephus


Science schmience.


Aren't these the same idiots who are saying that burning millions of years worth of petroleum accumulation in less than two centuries is having an effect on our climate?

td1234
td1234

@KUTGF @td1234 @Brosephus But two nurses in the hospital contracted the virus. Then you have a reporter for NBC that was no where near an ebola patient in Africa that got the virus and you have those few doctors that had all the protections the CDC and WHO got the virus. 


The real question is the science says you could get the virus within 21 days of contact with someone with the virus so why risk it? What is the big deal to stay of the safe side? 

KUTGF
KUTGF

@td1234 @KUTGF @Brosephus  Yep two nurses who were treating a very sick man....and a number of doctors who were treating very sick patients.  As for the news reporter, he was in areas with some sick people were likely there who were not medical professionals.  In each and every circumstance, the science shows you are working on irrational emotion and fear. 

Brosephus
Brosephus

@_GodlessHeathen_ 

"Yup, just mean old Republican Protestants being mean to the Nurse."

And when you can find where I've made such an assertion, you'll have a point made.

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@td1234 @KUTGF @Brosephus After showing us how little he knows about math, business and taxes, is TeeDee now demonstrating how little he knows about medical science as well?

td1234
td1234

@Tuna Meowt The attacking sock puppet is back. Having fun this morning Melinda?

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@td1234 @Tuna Meowt If I show you my d**k, will that convince you that I'm not this Melinda person you're so smitten with?

Brosephus
Brosephus

@td1234 

"Once again, why take the chance? What are you proving by taking an unnecessary risk?"

You take a chance, an unnecessary risk, every time you back your car out of your driveway, yet you don't think twice about driving to WalMart for some Great Value cereal, right?

td1234
td1234

@Brosephus You sure do but that risk is happenstance and can not be avoided. The risk of getting Ebola can be lessened 

Brosephus
Brosephus

@td1234 

And exactly how scientifically exact does the term "could" denote?

An attempt to squash a person's 4th Amendment rights because of the panic and fears of others is a constitutional lapse, IMHO.  I'll protect the constitution all day and all night.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@td1234 

  • And exactly who has she harmed?
  • How many people has she infected with Ebola?
  • How many people have died as a result of her Ebola?

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@Brosephus @td1234 It's clear that TeeDee thinks that YOUR freedoms can reasonably be infringed, just so long as such infringement is perceived by him as being of benefit to himself.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@Nobody_Knows 

I guess she's hurt some feelings because she didn't submit herself to the dominant males that were ordering her to stay inside her home or something.

Brosephus
Brosephus

Fly

"Grievance industry?  Did I miss a new startup company?"

I think that industry/term is something that our beloved poster Fred would refer to as delusional lickspittle.  Those who peddle that tired meme would probably be called much worse.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@stands_for_decibels

I haven't chatted with him in a minute.  He's probably going to rip me a new one when I contact him.  Despite what people think of him, I think he's a great guy.  He simply doesn't mince words, on line or in person.

Jm75
Jm75

what is going on with the AJC website.  It's back to the old version now...... somebody at Cox needs to be fired (not Jay)


The new site blows, glad the old site is back for the time being.