Issue Brief

Crisis Standards of Care: Legal Issues Underlying Key Decisions Regarding Scarce Resources

Issue BriefCrisis Standards of CareHealth and Health Care

September 7, 2021
by Jennifer Piatt

This issue brief examines evidence of racial disparities with respect to COVID-19 infections and deaths, possible causes, and legal protections against race discrimination. It also provides an overview of CSC planning, including key ethical features that may be utilized to ensure that CSC planning incorporates concerns about racial inequity.

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D.C.: Laws Regarding Minor Consent to Health Care

Issue BriefHealth Information and Data SharingDistrict of Columbia

May 5, 2021

This issue brief reviews several aspects of D.C. law that are critical to the issue of consent to medical care, detailing ways the law provides for minors to consent to their own care. It also addresses when someone other than a parent or guardian may consent to treatment for a minor. And finally, this brief addresses additional considerations in the laws surrounding minor consent, specifically emergency circumstances and liability concerns.

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Maryland: Laws Regarding Minor Consent to Health Care

Issue BriefHealth Information and Data SharingMaryland

May 5, 2021

This issue brief reviews several aspects of Maryland law that are critical to the issue of consent to medical care, detailing the ways the law provides for minors to consent to their own care. It also addresses when someone other than a parent or guardian may consent to treatment for a minor. And finally, this brief addresses additional considerations in the laws surrounding minor consent, specifically emergency circumstances and liability concerns.

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State Laws Addressing Discrimination against Medical Cannabis Patients

50-state surveyIssue BriefMarijuana LegalizationMechanisms for Advancing Health Equity

April 7, 2021

Thirty-six states and Washington, D.C. recognize medical cannabis as a lawful medication. However, the law in many of these states fails to adequately protect patients in their efforts to secure employment, enroll in school, rent a home, or even secure child custody or visitation rights. Treating medical cannabis patients differently from other patients is inherently discriminatory and produces harmful stigma, which creates negative short- and long-term health effects.

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Renewable Energy Standards: A Strategy to Transition Rapidly Away From the Use of Coal, Oil, and Natural Gas to Clean, Safe, and Affordable Renewable Energy

Issue BriefEnvironment, Climate and HealthMechanisms for Advancing Public Health

December 16, 2020
by Betsy Lawton and Jill Krueger

Renewable energy standards—often called Renewable Portfolio Standards—are important in hastening the transition from fossil fuels to renewable and low-carbon energy sources, slowing climate change and bringing immediate health benefits to communities. This issue brief, produced collaboratively by the Network and the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, outlines how renewable energy standards work and the important role they play in advancing health and health equity.

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Systemic Racism and Policing: How Can Public Health Advocates Grapple with the Dual Challenges of Systemic Racism and Discriminatory Policing?

Issue BriefMechanisms for Advancing Public HealthRacism as a Public Health Crisis

July 30, 2020
by April Shaw

Following the killing of George Floyd, localities have increasingly declared racism to be a public health emergency or crisis. Despite growing recognition of the fact that racism is a key contributor to poor health in communities of color, there is still insufficient attention to the role of policing and systemic racism as institutions that have powerful impacts on the health and well-being of people of color. This issue brief provides an assessment of how structural racism and policing function as critical social determinants of health for Black people and people of color generally.

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Michigan Laws Related to Right of a Minor to Obtain Health Care without Consent or Knowledge of Parents

Issue BriefHealth Information and Data SharingMichigan

May 29, 2020
by Denise Chrysler

This document summarizes the rights of minors to consent to various types of health care without the consent or knowledge of their parents. It also covers whether the law permits information concerning the minor’s health care to be shared with the parent. Though the details of this document apply only in Michigan, the legal provisions likely have counterparts in other states. Lawyers in other states may have developed, or could develop, comparable summaries for their states. You may wish to talk with your attorney, or visit the Public Health Lawyer Directory to find a public health attorney in your state.

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