Current law sets forth various civil rights of individuals and provides a civil cause of action for a violation of those rights. This bill would recognize the right of self quarantine, and would establish a civil cause of action for violation of that right. This bill contains other related provisions and other current laws.
AAP Positional Letter
April 10, 2018
The Honorable Ed Hernandez, O.D.
Chair, Senate Health Committee
State Capitol, Room 4203
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: SB 1325 (Moorlach) Peaceful and Natural Dignity Act: the right of self-quarantine
AAP-CA Position: Oppose
Dear Chair Hernandez,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, respectfully opposes SB 1325 (Moorlach), which would permit California residents to “self-quarantine,” allowing individuals who pose a public health threat to ignore recommendations of public health officials, even in an emergency. This would unnecessarily expose California’s children to preventable infectious diseases.
Isolation and quarantine are public health tools that are rarely used, but are absolutely essential when the time arises. Isolation and quarantine orders are issued by state and local health departments only in cases of dire need, and they are subject to due process. Isolation refers to limiting the contacts of ill individuals in order to limit the spread of a disease. Quarantine is limiting the contacts of individuals who have been exposed to an illness, in order to see if they develop the illness, and in order to limit the potential spread of the disease.
In the case of significant outbreaks, like Ebola or Measles, SB 1325 would add unnecessary bureaucracy to prevent the spread of communicable diseases and thus weaken our ability to protect the public’s health. Furthermore, this bill would erode protections for our most vulnerable populations, including babies too young to be immunized and people who are immunocompromised during emergency outbreaks.
California pediatricians have concerns about the effect this bill could have on California’s children. With recent vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks in California and across the United States, now is the time to further protect our children from these deadly infections, not limit the abilities of our officials to protect the public. SB 1325 (Moorlach) would limit the ability of local governments to protect the public’s health and control the spread of disease, which would increase the risk of communicable disease outbreaks, negatively impacting the health of our children.
Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 across the state urge you to vote NAY on SB 1325 (Moorlach). Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and well-being of children, youth, and families in California.
Cambria Garell, M.D.
Senior Policy Analyst
American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: Senate Health Committee Members
Office of Honorable John Moorlach, author
AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne