Dr. Charles Krauthammer on the public’s health vs. individual privacy

Dr. Charles Krauthammer-public health vs privacy

a woman taking her temperature

To call Dr. Charles Krauthammer an opinion writer is a vast understatement. He is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist whose Washington Post column is widely syndicated.

With wit and wisdom he addresses a wide variety of headlining topics, as well as those more mundane, including politics, economics,education, relationships and  lifestyle. His previous background as a practicing psychiatrist qualifies him to comment on medical issues with insight and experience.

In this article about the Ebola virus epidemic and civil liberties,  he addressed  the conflict created by the introduction of the Ebola virus into the United States. He argues that the need to protect the public’s health  and the rights of the individual may not always coincide.

These arguments could apply to situations other than Ebola infection. They include other infectious diseases as well as tobacco use, alcohol and drug use and abuse, motor vehicle safety, mental health , vaccine avoidance, gun ownership, and sexually transmitted diseases.


As a physician, I find it fascinating and amazing that Dr. Krauthammer completed medical school and residency after and despite sustaining a spinal cord injury which caused quadriplegia (paralysis from the neck down, preventing use of his arms and legs).

He discusses this, and pays tribute to a medical school professor who helped make it possible in his book

Things that matter : three decades of passions, pastimes, and politics

Things That Matter by Charles Krauthammer
Things That MatterDr. Charles Krauthammer on circus elephants, eating meat, and moral choices


both a memoir and a collection of his essays. His success causes one to question how exactly should we define “disability”?


You will find  Dr. Krauthammer on The Washington Post . You may not always agree with him, but I think you will appreciate his creative use of words to express his well thought opinions.

Dr. Charles Krauthammer on circus elephants, eating meat, and moral choices

This related post has links to some of Dr. Krauthammer’s essays on medical issues- “a physician to know 





Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

I am a family physician who loves to write about the HEART of HEALTH. On my blog, Watercress Words, I inform and inspire us in healthy living. My ideas come from my training, experiences, medical practice, personal life, and medicine in the media. There's always something new and interesting to explore in the world of health and medicine.

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