Quarantine and its Related Ethical Issues

Keywords: Epidemic, Quarantine, Isolation, Iran, Infectious, Disease, Medical Ethics


Background and Aim: In order to control the epidemics, it is necessary to make decisions that can affect many people's normal lives. One of them is to create quarantine for people who are at risk of contracting an infectious disease. The purpose of this study was to investigate ethical considerations related to quarantine or isolation of patients with communicable diseases.

Materials and Methods: The present study is a review study using Iranian [(IranMedex), MagIran] and international (Pub med) databases. These have been searched with key words: epidemic, quarantine, Isolation, Iran, Infectious Disease and Medical Ethics. Then the abstracts of the retrieved articles were reviewed and after the removal of duplicate and unrelated articles, the content of related articles was analyzed.

Findings: Decisions based on proven scientific foundations, proportionality of benefits and losses from quarantine and reduction of its negative impact, avoidance of any discrimination (whether ethnicity, race, gender, etc.) and fairness of decisions are necessary. Attempts to compensate for the potential (psychological, physical and material) damages caused by the quarantine and the least restraint as well as coercive force are required to execute the quarantine. Transparency in decision-making, accountability, stability in program implementation, and flexibility are the requirements.

Ethical Considerations: In keeping with trustworthiness in analysis, reporting and citing, efforts were made to disseminate the results without any bias.

Conclusion: Paying attention to the ethical issues raised can increase the trust of those who should be quarantined, while enhancing their cooperation to ensure that this process is achieved.


Cite this article as: Khaji A. Quarantine and its Related Ethical Issues. Med Ethics J 2020; 14(45): e2.


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Original/Research Article