Improving Laws and Legal Authorities for Public Health Emergency Legal Preparedness

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 36 (s1):47-51 (2008)
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This paper is one of the four interrelated action agenda papers resulting from the National Summit on Public Health Legal Preparedness convened in June 2007 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and multi-disciplinary partners. Each of the action agenda papers deals with one of the four core elements of legal preparedness: laws and legal authorities; competency in using those laws; coordination of law-based public health actions; and information. Options presented in this paper are for consideration by policymakers and practitioners — in all jurisdictions and all relevant sectors and disciplines — with responsibilities for all-hazards emergency preparedness.One expert's framing of the mission of public health may help improve understanding of the range of hazards for which to be legally prepared. These hazards include urgent realities — such as chronic disease, injury, disabilities, conventional communicable diseases, and an aging and obese population — and urgent threats, such as pandemic influenza, natural disasters, and terrorism.



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