Network Report


Current Issues in Public Health Law

Ebola Emergency Legal Preparedness and Response

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday confirmed the first Ebola case diagnosed in the U.S. The infected individual, who traveled to Dallas, Texas from Liberia, has been placed in isolation for treatment at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Federal, state and local health officials are implementing preparedness and response measures.  

The following Network resources summarize current developments related to legal preparedness and response to Ebola, and include information about travel restrictions, emergency declarations, vaccine development, and isolation and quarantine measures.

Primer: Emergency Legal Preparedness Concerning Ebola Virus Disease
Ebola Legal Preparedness – Q&A with Network Experts
Ebola Outbreak: Issues of Law, Policy and Ethics - Recorded Presentation

State and local health authorities who have questions about legal preparedness can submit questions directly to the Network.

Submit a question about Ebola legal preparedness.

Impact of Supreme Court Decision on HIPAA Privacy Rule and Same-Sex Spouses

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Windsor that some same-sex couples must be treated the same as married opposite-sex couples when it comes to federal benefits. In addition to changing the coverage for certain employee benefit plans, the ruling impacts the application of many federal laws, including the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

More on court decision and HIPAA Privacy.

Legal Developments Increase Access to Drug Overdose Prevention Treatment

The recent DEA announcement of a long-awaited regulatory change that would permit people to return unwanted prescription drugs to pharmacies is the latest in a number of important legal and quasi-legal developments in fenderal and state overdose prevention efforts.

Learn about new state and federal laws impacting overdose prevention.

Building the Field of Public Health Law

A special edition of the Annals of Health Law, "Building the Field of Public Health Law - Perspectives from the Network for Public Health Law," addresses current and significant issues across the field of public health law with a wide range of topics that reflect the breadth of challenges at the intersection of law and the public's health. Articles examine organ donation, product bans to protect public health, newborn screening, ACA implementation, court watch programs and the legal needs of public health professionals.

View Annals of Health Law special edition.

Public Health Law Research

Despite a federal ban since 1970, an increasing number of states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. LawAtlas provides four different maps that address key components of marijuana regulation, including patient use and access, caregiver rights, dispensaries and product safety, and packaging requirements.

View LawAtlas maps on marijuana regulation.

State Public Health Accreditation Laws

The Menu of State Public Health Department Accreditation Laws from the CDC Public Health Law Program offers a comprehensive summary, including state statutory and regulatory language, of state laws that reference accreditation. The Menu can be a useful resource for policy makers and public health practitioners interested in the legal methods by which other states have required, encouraged, or financed public health department accreditation.

View the Menu.

Ask the Experts

Health Information Data Sharing: Use of Disease Outbreak Detection Systems across Jurisdictions

Disease outbreak detection systems, referred to as syndronic surveillance systems, are used by some state health departments to gather symptomatic and other data that may indicate a potential threat to public health. Statutory authority for use of these systems can vary across jurisdictions.

Learn more about syndronic surveillance.

Upcoming Webinars

Live Webcast from the 2014 Public Health Law Conference: Affordable Care Act — Litigation and Implementation Update

November will mark the second year when millions of Americans can purchase health insurance coverage through the online marketplaces established by the ACA. This webinar will provide an update on ACA implementation, including states’ decisions regarding Medicaid expansion and health insurance exchanges, as well as a number of provisions regarding public health. Experts will also discuss the legal challenges, some seeking to enjoin the law and others, to enforce it. This webinar will be a special, live webcast of a session from the 2014 Public Health Law Conference, and takes place on Thursday, October 16 at 3 p.m. ET.

Learn more and register for ACA Webinar.