The name Mary Mallon (Typhoid Mary) lives on in infamy in public health. Her story is used by many as a cautionary tale about the challenges of enforcing public health, about the intersection of science and politics, and about treating vulnerable populations fairly in public health research and practice.
As discussed in class, in order for health departments to fulfill their mission to protect and promote the health of people within the populations they serve, state public health laws grant health departments the authority to intrude upon the privacy of individuals and intervene in ways that can curtail the autonomy of individuals.
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Please address the following 2 prompts.
1. Discuss briefly why Mary Mallon was singled out for incarceration by public health authorities in New York City. What can her story tell us about the challenges of disease control in populations and the balance between the individual and the community in public health? (Please be sure you address this specific question and don’t simply briefly re-tell the story of Typhoid Mary).
2. Using an example drawn from current public health practice in the United States, explain:
When and under what circumstances is it acceptable for state or local health departments to infringe upon the liberty of individuals to further the public’s health?
How should such interventions be conducted in order to be as respectful as possible of the competing and/or shared interests of affected individuals (those whose autonomy is infringed) and others in the community?
In responding to Prompt #2, this should be your assessment and recommendation, using evidence from class and your own research to explain and support your position. You can draw on any example that involves circumstances when a state or local health department needs to infringe upon the autonomy of individuals in order to protect or promote the health of others in the populations that health departments serve. We suggest using an example from the past ten years to reflect current public health practice. If for some reason you are struggling to find an example, you can peruse CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) for potential ideas (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/index2020.html), though your example does not need to come from this report and you are encouraged to do your own research.
In addition, please note:
Your response to these two questions combined should be about 1,200 to 1,500 words (not counting references or title page). You do not need to include an abstract for this paper.
As per the rubric, please be sure to include an introduction and conclusion that sets up and reinforces the main points you will cover in your paper.
Just as with the first paper, you are required to cite your sources throughout and include a reference section. For those of you using APA style, here is a great resource to review for help with formatting: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_style_introduction.html
You will be graded using the same rubric from Module 1 (attached below). Please be sure to review the feedback from your first papers for suggestions on specific areas to improve upon for your second paper.
Please be sure that you understand and adhere to the University’s academic integrity standards, including the plagiarism component of that (https://drexel.edu/studentlife/community_standards/code-of-conduct/academic-integrity-policy/). A plagiarism violation could result in a score of zero for the assignment and a formal report of an academic integrity policy violation. Please remember that you can use the Turnitin utility to scan your document to check for possible plagiarism violations and then revise and resubmit your document if necessary.
Please note that including quotes within quotation marks protects you from a plagiarism charge but presenting an essay that represents a succession of quotes strung together is not optimal (and could adversely affect either the quality of writing or the content score). Rather, you should make sure you understand the points your sources are making and present those points in your own voice.
The Writing Center and the English Language Center are available as resources to you. Please see the “University Resources” section in Blackboard for more information.
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