Case Western Reserve University School of Law
In Blindness, Nobel Prize laureate Jos6 Saramago chronicles the quarantining of the first victims of a plague of blindness.1 We meet many people who become blind in Saramago's novel, including an opthamologist, a one-eyed man with an eye patch, and a man born blind. Saramago reminds us that we are all blind in one way or another, and that there are many things about ourselves and our society that we can't or won't see. The quarantine itself turns out to be isolating, inhumane, and degrading; the interred blind being portrayed by themselves and others as pigs, dogs, and "lame crabs." Soldiers stand guard, and shoot anyone trying to escape, mostly out of fear that they themselves might become infected by the blindness virus.
George J. Annas,
Blinded by Bioterrorism: Public Health and Liberty in the 21st Century,
Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine
Available at: https://scholarship.law.bu.edu/faculty_scholarship/1240