ACLU says US pandemic flu plans may jeopardize civil liberties Alexis Unkovic at 2:37 PM ET
[JURIST] A report [PDF text; press release] issued Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] criticized efforts by the Bush administration to prepare for a potential bird flu pandemic by relying on a law enforcement/national security approach rather than a public health approach. The report, authored by three professors, cautioned that the administration's current pandemic response plans could threaten civil liberties if enacted. The report recommended measures to ensure that vaccines are quickly and fairly distributed, that privacy rights are protected, and that public health officials remain subject to legal accountability. Officials with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) [official website], which has devised its own Pandemic Influenza Plan [PDF text; fact sheet], said in response that the government's plans already incorporate a significant number of the ACLU report's recommendations. Reuters has more.
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