Public Health Law Blog

Public Health and the Courts: Is there a fundamental right to a stable climate system?

posted on Wed, Feb 15 2017 1:59 pm by Colleen Healy

Frustrated by what they perceive as insufficient federal legislative and executive efforts to address climate change, a group of young plaintiffs and other activists have filed suit against the federal government, citing a wide variety of health-related harms they have suffered because of the government’s inability to reduce carbon emissions.

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Raw Milk: Camels, the FDA, and State Deregulation

posted on Mon, Feb 13 2017 11:38 am by Mathew Swinburne

The movement to legalize the intrastate sale of raw milk continues despite warnings from the FDA and CDC that its consumption is a health risk. Federal law prohibits selling or transportation of raw milk, but there is decreased regulation within states. In the first month of 2017, five states have already introduced raw milk legislation to allow or expand its sale within their borders. 

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Emergency Preparedness and Medical Countermeasures: FDA Emergency Use Authorization and Related Authorities Guidance Updates

posted on Wed, Feb 1 2017 3:45 pm by Lexi C. White

Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) allow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize emergency use of unapproved medical countermeasures during emergency circumstances to combat threats that involve chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear agents. On January 13, the FDA issued final guidance for industry and other stakeholders on EUA of Medical Products and Related Authorities.

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Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being through Public Health Law

posted on Wed, Feb 1 2017 1:02 pm by Jill Krueger

Across the United States, people are identifying mental health as an unmet need in their communities, and are beginning to devise strategies to promote mental health and well-being. Just as we have come to understand the role of the social determinants of health with respect to physical health, we have a growing awareness of the influence of the social determinants of mental health.

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Public Health Law News Round-up - January

posted on Mon, Jan 30 2017 3:42 pm by The Network

Some of the public health law issues that made headlines in January include President Trump’s Executive Order regarding the Affordable Care Act, policy changes to help unpaid caregivers, a state’s proposed law that would classify homelessness as a medical condition, and the effectiveness of laws requiring breathalyzer ignition systems for DUI repeat offenders.

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Cross-jurisdictional Data Sharing and Immunization Information Systems

posted on Thu, Jan 19 2017 11:13 am by Jennifer Bernstein

Cross-jurisdictional data sharing requires the application of varying, and sometimes conflicting local, state and federal laws. These laws often present barriers and prevent the efficient and effective use of data to tackle important public health challenges. A national IIS cross-jurisdictional data-sharing memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been developed to help address these challenges and will be piloted in six states.

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Integrating Health Impact Assessments via Environmental Policy Acts

posted on Mon, Jan 9 2017 2:19 pm by Kim Weidenaar

Health impact assessments (HIAs) can provide decision-makers with critical information on how a proposed policy or program might impact the public’s health. The Network for Public Health Law – Western Region recently collaborated with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) to explore and analyze opportunities to imbed health considerations and HIAs into environmental reviews.

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Public Health Law News Round-up – November and December

posted on Tue, Dec 20 2016 3:44 pm by The Network

Some of the public health issues that made news headlines recently include President Obama’s signing of the 21st Century CURES Act, tobacco 21 laws, FDA warnings to tobacco manufacturers and voter response to proposed marijuana laws and soda tax propositions.

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Public Health and the Judiciary: Sobriety Courts

posted on Tue, Dec 20 2016 11:04 am by Colleen Healy

For the past two decades, alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes have been responsible for approximately one third of all U.S. crash fatalities. Alcohol-impaired driving is a complex and persistent public health problem requiring multi-faceted legal solutions that address both the causes and consequences of impaired driving. Drug courts - particularly DUI, DWI, and sobriety courts - are designed specifically to protect safety while addressing the root causes of impaired driving.

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Federal Efforts to Improve Access to Treatment for Individuals with Substance Use Disorders

posted on Wed, Dec 7 2016 1:08 pm by Hector Hernandez-Delgado

In recent months, the federal government has redoubled these efforts by expanding on initiatives that improve access to treatment for individuals with substance use disorders (SUD). A key component of these efforts focuses on implementing and enforcing the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which requires most health insurance plans to treat mental health and SUD benefits on equal footing with- medical and surgical benefits

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