Tags: kaci hickox | quarantine | nurse | ebola

Kaci Hickox, Quarantined Nurse in NJ, Hires Lawyer to Fight Confinement

By    |   Monday, 27 Oct 2014 07:17 AM

Kaci Hickox, a nurse who is being quarantined in New Jersey after returning home from treating Ebola patients in West Africa, has hired a civil rights attorney to fight her confinement.

Hickox, an epidemiologist who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, arrived in Newark Friday and, despite two negative Ebola tests and a lack of symptoms, was ordered to serve 21-days in isolation, according to CNN.

Now, Hickox is fighting back, blasting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's mandatory quarantine policy for healthcare workers as a "knee-jerk reaction by politicians." She also slammed the governor's assessment of her as "obviously ill."

"This is an extreme that is really unacceptable, and I feel like my basic human rights have been violated," Hickox told CNN Sunday. "To put me through this emotional and physical stress is completely unacceptable . . . First of all, I don't think [Christie is] a doctor; secondly, he's never laid eyes on me; and thirdly, I've been asymptomatic since I've been here."

Christie defended his actions on Fox News Sunday, telling host Christ Wallace he did not have faith in voluntary quarantines.

"I don't believe when you're dealing with something as serious as this that we can count on a voluntary system," Christie said. "This is government's job. If anything else, the government's job is to protect safety and health of our citizens. And so, we've taken this action and I absolutely have no second thoughts about it . . . I think this is a policy that will become a national policy sooner rather than later."

In a first-person article for the Dallas Morning News Saturday, Hickox detailed the way she was treated at Newark Liberty International Airport before being taken into quarantine Friday.

"This is not a situation I would wish on anyone, and I am scared for those who will follow me," she wrote. "I am scared about how healthcare workers will be treated at airports when they declare that they have been fighting Ebola in West Africa. I am scared that, like me, they will arrive and see a frenzy of disorganization, fear and, most frightening, quarantine."

Hickox reportedly met with lawyers Sunday — a conversation had through a piece of plastic — and they plan to file paperwork to hold a hearing on the nurse's quarantine status in the next week.

"She's fine. She's not sick," lawyer Steven Hyman told reporters outside the hospital Sunday. "She went and did a magnanimous thing and deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, not put in isolation because some political leaders decided it looks good to do that."



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Kaci Hickox, a nurse who is being quarantined in New Jersey after returning home from treating Ebola patients in West Africa, has hired a civil rights attorney to fight her confinement.
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2014-17-27
Monday, 27 Oct 2014 07:17 AM
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