Ok, I’m about 6 months behind on Radiolab episodes. But on my morning run I listened to Patient Zero, a typically fascinating hour of exploration of tracing diseases back to their origins.
We got Typhoid Mary. And an in-depth look at where AIDS came from (patient zero, chimp zero, and monkey zero.)
Buried in there are some fascinating legal issues, which I hope we can discuss in depth in the future.
But just consider…
When can the government imprison an innocent, but contagious, person? Does it matter if she definitely knows she is infecting people but refuses to take precautions?
Can you go to jail for giving someone AIDS? If you do it on purpose?
Should the government be able to trace your phone records to try to piece together patterns about the spread of disease? (imagine agents showing up to ask questions at the home of someone who has just made a bunch of calls to a health provider…)
Definitely worth a listen!