Resolved: A public health emergency justifies limiting civil liberties.


Forced isolation may be the only way to stop the virus 

Does Personal Freedom Endanger Public Health?

Coronavirus Could Infect Privacy And Civil Liberties Forever

The Clash Between Emergency Powers and Individual Rights During COVID-19 Pandemic

Beyond liberty: social values and public health ethics in responses to COVID-19

A balance between liberty and safety during a pandemic

Disease Control, Civil Liberties, and Mass Testing — Calibrating Restrictions during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Civil liberties in the time of caronavirus 

Legal and Constitutional Considerations in the Time of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid-19 response and civil liberties: Striking the Balance

Preserving our public health and civil liberties this summer 

How to talk about freedom during a pandemic 

Self-Isolation Orders Pit Civil Liberties Against Public Good In Coronavirus Pandemic

Ethicist Weighs in on Tension Between Public Health and Private Liberty

The Coronavirus vs. Civil Liberties

After 9/11, we gave up privacy for security. Will we make the same trade-off after Covid-19?

How Much Liberty Must We Give Up? A Constitutional Analysis of the Coronavirus Lockdown Proposals

Can a Pandemic Put Your Civil Liberties On Hold?

Why can’t we accept masks like we do other public health and safety rules?

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on human rights and the rule of law – Our action

Human Rights in Times of COVID-19: Public Safety vs. Individual Liberty

An epidemiologist’s view on personal liberty and mask-wearing

Freedom and privacy in the time of coronavirus

Human Rights and Coronavirus: What’s at Stake for Truth, Trust, and Democracy?

Does the ban on large gatherings violate the 1st Amendment of the Constitution?

COVID-19: A stress test for fundamental rights and freedom


Vaccination and Coronavirus: Where the Public Good Clashes with Choice and Freedom

Public health vs. personal freedom: Reflections on the California public vaccination law  (2015)

Individual Rights vs. Public Health: The Vaccination Debate (2010)



How we define “freedom” matters to our health

Can a virus undermine human rights?

Older background articles

“Jacobson v. Massachusetts and Public Health Law: Perspectives in 2005” (2005)

The Intersection of Law, Ethics, and Public Health in the United State

Public health and persona liberties (2001)

The continuing tensions between individual rights and public health. Talking Point on public health versus civil liberties (2007)

Balancing individual rights and public safety during quarantine (2007)

An Overview of Public Health in the New Millenium: Individual Liberty vs. Public Safety (2004)

Ethics and Public Health Emergencies: Restrictions on Liberty

Public Health and Liberty: Beyond the Millian Paradigm (2009)

Public Health and Human Rights in an Era of Epidemics (2015)

Where Should We Draw the Line Between Community Health and Safety and Individual Liberty and Privacy?

Ethical considerations in developing a public health response to pandemic influenza

Balancing Public Health Against Individual Liberty: The Ethics of Smoking Regulations

Preventing Contagion and Protecting Civil Liberties: Problems in Quarantine & Isolation Law in the United States & Suggestions for Reform (2016)

Necessity and least infringement conditions in public health ethics (2017)



Individual Freedom or Public Health? A False Choice in the Covid Era

Yes, a National Quarantine Is Constitutional … and Necessary

Individual freedom and public health 

Yes, government can restrict your freedom to protect your health 

The public’s right to health: When individual freedoms threaten the commons

When it’s not safe to be free…

Self-Interest, Wrongly Understood


Protecting individual liberties during a public health crisis 

Private: State Quarantine Powers Under the Constitution: Fear in an Age of Ebola

Siphoning civil liberties in the name of COVID-19: A research roundup

COVID-19 Policies and Constitutional Violations

The Peoples’ Constitution: COVID-19 versus Freedom


Fighting Covid-19 Shouldn’t Mean Abandoning Human Rights