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[DRAFT] Repeal "Rights of the Quarantined"

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Port Ames
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Founded: Dec 23, 2021
Ex-Nation

[DRAFT] Repeal "Rights of the Quarantined"

Postby Port Ames » Wed Jan 26, 2022 12:37 am

Repeal “Rights of the Quarantined”

The World Assembly observes the following:

GA 389, “Rights of the Quarantined,” has a fundamentally good goal — it seeks to create coordinated international response to international health crises while respecting the rights of the infected. That a resolution has a good goal, however, should not prevent us from repealing it when the resolution in question also has severe defects.

GA 389, “Rights of the Quarantined,” has severe defects. They are as follows:

  1. It fails to address some of the reasons why its predecessor legislation, GA 385, was repealed. In its repeal of GA 385, the World Assembly described itself as “Unsettled by the resolution's mandate to put infected persons in the nearest quarantine to them, causing drastic displacement if a person happened to be far away from their home at the time.” The text it referred to did not change between GA 385 and GA 389. The former, verbatim, required member nations to “move all infected persons into the appropriate quarantine that is nearest to their current location.” The latter, verbatim, required member nations to “move all infected persons into the appropriate quarantine that is nearest to their current location.

  2. The classification system it shoves upon EPARC is at best unhelpful and at worst harmful. In Section 1, GA 389 “Tasks the Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response Center to define as a ‘serious disease’ any disease which is harmful and contagious enough to create the need of a quarantine in the case of an outbreak of the disease.” It is possible that there may be a public health crisis concerning what is, for all intents and purposes, a “serious disease,” but not one where the extreme quarantine prescriptions of this resolution would be appropriate. EPARC should be free to call an illness a serious disease without authorizing the extensive quarantine procedures in GA 389 — it is important that public health officials communicate openly and honestly about the science of epidemiology, without fear of political backlash or forcing a specific policy on member nations.

  3. The quarantine provisions of Section 4 inadequately address the role of at-home quarantines in the epidemic responses of nations battling “serious diseases.” Per Section 4e, member nations must “disband all quarantines of a certain epidemic when the epidemic ends.” Given the text of 4e., it seems unlikely that “quarantine” areas under the resolution include the houses of the infected, which presumably cannot be “disbanded.” The World Assembly lacks guidance on what the “disbanding” of a home quarantine would look like if indeed it did fall under the definition of a quarantine provided by GA 389.

  4. The resolution, at times, has backwards priorities. The provisions that GA 389 prescribes for epidemics are quite drastic: they ask that member nations forcibly relocate citizens to quarantines. These provisions are helpful in some circumstances: primarily before an outbreak occurs, when small numbers of people can be kept in a limited number of quarantine areas to prevent a disease from taking hold. GA 389, however, makes no such provision for quarantine in these circumstances. Instead, it defines an epidemic as “a time, in a nation, when there are enough people with the same serious disease (as defined by the EPARC) to be clearly in excess of the normal expectancy.” By defining epidemics as occurring in places where a disease is “clearly in excess of the normal expectancy,” it only authorizes the extreme response when an outbreak has already occurred. At this stage of an epidemic, it is possible that the policies proposed by the resolution are impossible to implement. They would have been better implemented before disease levels were “in excess of the normal expectancy.”
For these reasons, and hoping for a more measured replacement, the General Assembly hereby repeals GA 389, “Rights of the Quarantined.”


I look forward to any comments you may have on this proposal: I was looking through the WA's passed resolutions a couple days ago, and given the current state of affairs, I looked at public health law. This felt like it aged pretty badly vis a vis COVID-19. I could be wrong, though. I'm also not sure if the interpretation I offer in Reason C is correct. I would appreciate input on that.

In the meantime, I'm providing links to both GA 389 (the target), GA 387 (the repeal of its predecessor), and GA 385 (the predecessor).

GA 389
https://www.nationstates.net/page=WA_pa ... /council=1

GA 385
https://www.nationstates.net/page=WA_pa ... /council=1

GA 387
https://www.nationstates.net/page=WA_pa ... /council=1
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Xanthorrhoea
Envoy
 
Posts: 251
Founded: Aug 22, 2021
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Xanthorrhoea » Wed Jan 26, 2022 1:52 am

I seem to remember a recent attempt to repeal this proposal that had similar arguments. I’ll give my feedback on the individual points raised below:

Port Ames wrote:a. It fails to address some of the reasons why its predecessor legislation, GA 385, was repealed. In its repeal of GA 385, the World Assembly described itself as “Unsettled by the resolution's mandate to put infected persons in the nearest quarantine to them, causing drastic displacement if a person happened to be far away from their home at the time.” The text it referred to did not change between GA 385 and GA 389. The former, verbatim, required member nations to “move all infected persons into the appropriate quarantine that is nearest to their current location.” The latter, verbatim, required member nations to “move all infected persons into the appropriate quarantine that is nearest to their current location.

The word “appropriate” does a lot of heavy lifting here. If a person is appropriate for home quarantine, then the “appropriate quarantine that is nearest their current location” would be their home. Likewise, if there is some extenuating circumstance (e.g. needing to visit a terminal loved one), then that would also affect the “appropriateness” of quarantine locations far away. My reading of the clause is that states should determine the most appropriate place of quarantine, and if there are multiple suitable, move them to the nearest one. Minimising transport of infectious people is a good thing. I see no real problem here.


Port Ames wrote: b. The classification system it shoves upon EPARC is at best unhelpful and at worst harmful. In Section 1, GA 389 “Tasks the Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response Center to define as a ‘serious disease’ any disease which is harmful and contagious enough to create the need of a quarantine in the case of an outbreak of the disease.” It is possible that there may be a public health crisis concerning what is, for all intents and purposes, a “serious disease,” but not one where the extreme quarantine prescriptions of this resolution would be appropriate. EPARC should be free to call an illness a serious disease without authorizing the extensive quarantine procedures in GA 389 — it is important that public health officials communicate openly and honestly about the science of epidemiology, without fear of political backlash or forcing a specific policy on member nations.

“Defines, for the purposes of [GAR#389]…”
This is a definition of terms used in the resolution. It has no effect on language used outside of it. Another resolution or law may use the same term with a different meaning if it defines it so. This does not stop public officials from communicating however they see fit. I think this clause falls under the “honest mistake” rule.

Port Ames wrote:c. The quarantine provisions of Section 4 inadequately address the role of at-home quarantines in the epidemic responses of nations battling “serious diseases.” Per Section 4e, member nations must “disband all quarantines of a certain epidemic when the epidemic ends.” Given the text of 4e., it seems unlikely that “quarantine” areas under the resolution include the houses of the infected, which presumably cannot be “disbanded.” The World Assembly lacks guidance on what the “disbanding” of a home quarantine would look like if indeed it did fall under the definition of a quarantine provided by GA 389.

I’m not sure I see a problem here? Surely a sensible approach to ending home quarantine would be to simply allow people out of their homes and cease whatever enforcement strategies you were using to keep them there, and perhaps do a deep clean. Just because they’re no longer quarantine locations doesn’t mean you have to knock down houses.

Port Ames wrote:d.The resolution, at times, has backwards priorities. The provisions that GA 389 prescribes for epidemics are quite drastic: they ask that member nations forcibly relocate citizens to quarantines. These provisions are helpful in some circumstances: primarily before an outbreak occurs, when small numbers of people can be kept in a limited number of quarantine areas to prevent a disease from taking hold. GA 389, however, makes no such provision for quarantine in these circumstances. Instead, it defines an epidemic as “a time, in a nation, when there are enough people with the same serious disease (as defined by the EPARC) to be clearly in excess of the normal expectancy.” By defining epidemics as occurring in places where a disease is “clearly in excess of the normal expectancy,” it only authorizes the extreme response when an outbreak has already occurred. At this stage of an epidemic, it is possible that the policies proposed by the resolution are impossible to implement. They would have been better implemented before disease levels were “in excess of the normal expectancy.”

There are two types of disease, endemic and non-endemic. If a disease is endemic to a population, then it is normally prevalent to a degree. In this case, the wording above allows quarantine to kick in if the level rises to a point where quarantine is needed.

In a non-endemic disease, any infected person in the population is “in excess of the normal expectancy,” and hence the ability to quarantine them would kick in the moms to anyone was infected. There’s no need for quarantine when no-one is infected, other than for the sake of being prepared.

Of note as well, nothing in this resolution forbids setting up quarantine for circumstances outside of it’s jurisdiction. Nations are free to set up a quarantine process for non-“serious” diseases, or to ready a quarantine system in anticipation of one. The quarantine simply won’t be governed by this resolution until someone in those nations is infected with a “serious disease.”

Overall I see the ideas behind this repeal, but I don’t think any of the arguments presented thus far are strong enough to justify a repeal. If there are additional, more convincing arguments presented, this may have merit.

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Umeria
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Posts: 2036
Founded: Mar 05, 2016
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Umeria » Wed Jan 26, 2022 7:10 am

In the case of an at-home quarantine, "disband" just means no longer classify as a quarantine. At-home quarantines were always intended to be the primary effect of the resolution:
Umeria wrote:Most of the people in the quarantine will likely have been living there anyway, so there isn't much "rounding up".

I think it aged well with regards to Covid-19, but of course I'm a little biased.
Ambassador Anthony Lockwood, at your service.
Author of GAR #389

"Umeria - We start with U"

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Apatosaurus
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Posts: 854
Founded: Jul 17, 2020
Ex-Nation

Postby Apatosaurus » Thu Jan 27, 2022 11:13 pm

"Currently, I am not exactly convinced by this repeal, but we have sent some feedback to your email address."

Repeal “Rights of the Quarantined”

The World Assembly observes the following:

GA 389, “Rights of the Quarantined,” has a fundamentally good goal — it seeks to create coordinated international response to international health crises while respecting the rights of the infected. That a resolution has a good goal, however, should not prevent us from repealing it when the resolution in question also has severe defects.

However, the resolution GA 389, “Rights of the Quarantined,” has severe defects. They are as follows:

  1. It fails to address some of the reasons why its predecessor legislation, GA 385, was repealed. In its repeal of GA 385, the World Assembly described itself as “Unsettled by the resolution's mandate to put infected persons in the nearest quarantine to them, causing drastic displacement if a person happened to be far away from their home at the time.” The text it referred to did not change between GA 385 and GA 389. The former, verbatim, required member nations to “move all infected persons into the appropriate quarantine that is nearest to their current location.” The latter, verbatim, required requires member nations to “move all infected persons into the appropriate quarantine that is nearest to their current location. This is definitely a good point

  2. The classification system it shoves imposes upon EPARC is at best unhelpful and at worst harmful. In Section 1, GA 389 “Tasks the Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response Center to define as a ‘serious disease’ any disease which is harmful and contagious enough to create the need of a quarantine in the case of an outbreak of the disease.” It is possible that there may be a public health crisis concerning what is, for all intents and purposes, a “serious disease,” but not one where the extreme quarantine prescriptions of this resolution would be appropriate. EPARC should be free to call an illness a serious disease without authorizing the extensive quarantine procedures in GA 389 — it is important that public health officials communicate openly and honestly about the science of epidemiology, without fear of political backlash or forcing a specific policy on member nations. I'm not convinced here? I second what the Xanthorrhoean delegation said

  3. The quarantine provisions of Section 4 inadequately address the role of at-home quarantines in the epidemic responses of nations battling “serious diseases.” Per Section 4e, member nations must “disband all quarantines of a certain epidemic when the epidemic ends.” Given the text of 4e., it seems unlikely that “quarantine” areas under the resolution include the houses of the infected, which presumably cannot be “disbanded.” I'm confused; the resolution defines a "quarantine" earlier? The World Assembly lacks guidance on what the “disbanding” of a home quarantine would look like if indeed it did fall under the definition of a quarantine provided by GA 389. I... don't really see this to be a problem, particularly given Reasonable Nation Theory.

  4. The resolution, at times, has backwards priorities. The provisions that GA 389 prescribes for epidemics are quite drastic: they ask that member nations forcibly relocate citizens to quarantines. These provisions are helpful in some circumstances: primarily before an outbreak occurs, when small numbers of people can be kept in a limited number of quarantine areas to prevent a disease from taking hold. GA 389, however, makes no such provision for quarantine in these circumstances. Instead, it defines an epidemic as “a time, in a nation, when there are enough people with the same serious disease (as defined by the EPARC) to be clearly in excess of the normal expectancy.” By defining epidemics as occurring in places where a disease is “clearly in excess of the normal expectancy,” it only authorizes the extreme response when an outbreak has already occurred. At this stage of an epidemic, it is possible that the policies proposed by the resolution are impossible to implement. They would have been better implemented before disease levels were “in excess of the normal expectancy.”
For these reasons, and hoping for a more measured replacement, the General Assembly hereby repeals GA 389, “Rights of the Quarantined.”
Last edited by Apatosaurus on Thu Jan 27, 2022 11:21 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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