Nicholas G. Evans

Nicholas G. Evans is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

  • War on All Fronts

    A Theory of Health Security Justice

    Nicholas G. Evans

    An argument for the centrality of rights in health security, and how to apply ethical principles to protecting those rights during public health crises.

    In recent years, efforts to respond to infectious diseases have been described in terms of national and global security, leading to the formation of the field of “health security.” In War on All Fronts, Nicholas G. Evans provides a novel theory of just health security and its relation to the practice of conventional public health. Using COVID-19 as a jumping off point to examine wider issues, including how the US thinks about and prepares for pandemics, Evans shows the flaws in using the “war metaphor" and how any serious understanding of health security must square with human rights—even when a disease poses a threat to national security. Evans asks what ethical principles justify declaring, and taking action during, a public health emergency such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The relevant principles, he argues, parallel those of the ethics of armed conflict. Just war theory, properly understood, begins with pacifism and a commitment to the right not to be killed and then steps back to ask under what limited conditions it is permissible to kill. In a similar way, a just health security must also begin with the idea that public health should hold human rights sacrosanct and then ask under what limited conditions other concerns might prevail. Evans's overall goal is to formulate a guide to action, particularly as the world deals with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Turning to the transition from war back to peace in public health, he looks at reparation, rebuilding, and the accountability of actors during the crisis.

    • Paperback $45.00
  • Ebola's Message

    Ebola's Message

    Public Health and Medicine in the Twenty-First Century

    Nicholas G. Evans, Tara C. Smith, and Maimuna S. Majumder

    Interdisciplinary perspectives on the science, politics, and ethics of the 2013–2015 Ebola virus disease outbreak.

    The 2013–2015 outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) was a public health disaster: 28,575 infections and 11,313 deaths (as of October 2015), devastating the countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone; a slow and mismanaged international response; and sensationalistic media coverage, seized upon by politicians to justify wrongheaded policy. And yet there were also promising developments that may improve future responses to infectious disease epidemics: the UN Security Council's first involvement in a public health event; a series of promising clinical treatments and vaccines for EVD; and recognition of the need for a global public health system to deal with epidemics that cross national borders. This volume offers a range of perspectives on these and other lessons learned, with essays on the science, politics, and ethics of the Ebola outbreak.

    The contributors discuss topics including the virology and management of EVD in both rich and poor nations; the spread of the disease (with an essay by a leader of Médecins Sans Frontières); racist perceptions of West Africa; mainstream and social media responses to Ebola; and the ethical issue of whether to run clinical trials of experimental treatments during an outbreak.

    ContributorsChristian L. Althaus, Daniel G. Bausch, Adia Benton, Michael J. Connor, Jr., Kim Yi Dionne, Nicholas G. Evans, Morenike Oluwatoyin Folayan, Stephen Goldstein, Bridget Haire, Patricia C. Henwood, Kelly Hills, Cyril Ibe, Marjorie Kruvand, Lisa M. Lee, Maimuna S. Majumder, Alexandra L. Phelan, Annette Rid, Cristine Russell, Lara Schwarz, Laura Seay, Michael Selgelid, Tara C. Smith, Armand Sprecher

    • Hardcover $45.00