Public Health Legal Preparedness for the 21st Century

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 30 (2):141-143 (2002)
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Law is indispensable to the public's health. The twentieth century proved this true as law contributed to each of the century's ten great public health achievements: vaccination, healthier mothers and babies, family planning, safer and healthier foods, fluoridation of drinking water, the control of infectious diseases, the decline in death from heart disease and stroke, recognition of tobacco use as a health hazard, motor vehicle safety, and safer workplaces.The readers of this journal can give examples of the relevant types of laws with ease: Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the 1905 U.S. Supreme Court case that upheld the constitutionality of compulsory vaccination; mandatory immunization for school admission; authorization of state prenatal care programs; mandatory fortification of foods; Title X of the Public Health Service Act; the Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906; the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, and hundreds of state and local enactments regulating food; fluoridation ordinanceswater, and sanitation; the Surgeon General's warning notices on cigarette packs and restrictions on marketing tobacco; seat belt laws and mandated vehicle and highway design features; and laws like the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 that regulate working conditions.



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Public Health Legal Preparedness: A Framework for Action.Georges C. Benjamin & Anthony D. Moulton - 2008 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 36 (s1):13-17.


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