Minority Health Archive

The Role of Law in Public Health Preparedness: Opportunities and Challenges

Jacobson, Peter D. and Wasserman , Jeffrey and Botoseneanu, Anda and Silverstein, Amy and Wu, Helen W. (2012) The Role of Law in Public Health Preparedness: Opportunities and Challenges. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 37 (2). pp. 297-328. ISSN 0361-6878

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We report the results of a study designed to assess and evaluate how the law shapes the public health system's preparedness activities. Based on 144 qualitative interviews conducted in nine states, we used a model that compared the objective legal environment with how practitioners perceived the laws. Most local public health and emergency management professionals relied on what they perceived the legal environment to be rather than on an adequate understanding of the objective legal requirements. Major reasons for the gap include the lack of legal training for local practitioners and the difficulty of obtaining clarification and consistent legal advice regarding public health preparedness. Narrowing the gap would most likely improve preparedness outcomes. We conclude that there are serious deficiencies in legal preparedness that can undermine effective responses to public health emergencies. Correcting the lack of legal knowledge, coupled with eliminating delays in resolving legal issues and questions during public health emergencies, could have measurable consequences on reducing morbidity and mortality.

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Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is available at the publisher’s Web site. Access to the full text is subject to the publisher’s access restrictions.
Subjects: Health > Policy
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Depositing User: Users 4259 not found.
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2012 19:45
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2012 21:22
Link to this item (URI): http://health-equity.lib.umd.edu/id/eprint/3875

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