Network Report


Exploring a Better Consent Policy for Organ Donations

The current “opt-in” consent system for organ and tissue donation in the U.S. requires a person to register as a donor or make his or her wishes explicitly known. The opt-in system makes non-consent the default, and creates barriers for organ donations. A change to presumed consent can make the process easier for individuals and their families, and create a more open system that accurately reflects majority views on donation as meaningful and positive for public health.

Read more about presumed consent and organ donations.

Ebola Quarantine — A Q&A with the Network’s Western Region

New Jersey’s Ebola quarantine protocol came under criticism this week when a nurse who was detained after returning from West Africa claimed that her human rights were violated. Do states’ quarantine orders override individuals’ rights? James Hodge and Kim Weidenaar from the Network’s Western Region answer this and other questions in an interview with New Public Health.

Read Ebola Quarantine Interview.


Policy Options to Increase Access to Oral Health Care - Brief

Oral health is integral to overall health. Poor oral health is associated with a number of diseases such as diabetes, stroke and respiratory disease. Minorities and low-income people are disproportionately affected by oral health issues. This brief outlines current concerns for oral health and explores policy options to increase access to oral health care and improve health by expanding the oral health workforce.

View/download the Oral Health Brief.

Domestic Violence in Multi-Unit Housing Issue Brief

A number of state and local governments have adopted laws that directly or indirectly provide housing protections for domestic violence survivors.  This issue brief provides a general introduction to the different types of laws that can be used to prevent domestic violence in multi-unit housing and reduce homelessness among domestic violence victims and survivors.

View/download the Preventing Domestic Violence in Multi-Unit Housing Issue Brief.


Immunization Laws: Impact of Non-Medical Exemption

All 50 U.S. states have adopted compulsory immunization laws for school children and also established some type of exemption for the immunizations. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of parents seeking exemptions from vaccines for personal beliefs, leading to concerns from those in public health about the potential spread of vaccine-preventable diseases. Learn about the history of this movement, the impact of non-medical vaccination exemptions, and the development of a collaborative effort to address this important issue. The webinar is free to and will take place on Tuesday, November 4 at 1 p.m. ET.

Learn more and register for the webinar.

Perspectives in Public Health Law

JAMA Viewpoint: Is the United States Prepared for Ebola?

The handling of the first domestically diagnosed Ebola case in Dallas raised concerns about national public health preparedness. This JAMA Viewpoint article, co-authored by the Network’s James Hodge, along with Scott Burris of Public Health Law Research and Lawrence Gostin of Georgetown University Law Center, examines the critical health system vulnerabilities revealed in Dallas, and how the country can respond more effectively to novel diseases in a globalized world.

Read JAMA article.

Public Health in the Shadow of the First Amendment

Joshua M. Sharfstein, M.D., Secretary at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, delivered a keynote at Yale Law School recently where he addresses a number of First Amendment court decisions that impact public health. These decisions, he asserts, have put at risk the doctor-patient relationship, an effective regulatory framework for drugs, and effective tobacco control policies.

Read keynote.

Ask the Experts

Federal law requires that state Medicaid programs make Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments to hospitals that serve a large number of Medicaid and uninsured individuals. Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would reduce the number of uninsured, the law mandated that DSH allotments be reduced. The Network recently assisted a Florida attorney with questions about the implementation changes in the ACA to DSH allotments.

More on DSH changes.

Student Network

Looking for a Job, Getting a Job and Succeeding in the Public Health Law Field

Join the Student Network for a professional development webinar featuring Matthew Penn, J.D., M.L.I.S., Director of the CDC’s Public Health Law Program. Mr. Penn will be sharing valuable information for students and young professionals interested in working in the field of public health law, including tips on job searching, resume and cover letter writing, interviewing and networking.  The webinar will take place on Friday, October 31 at 1 p.m. ET.

Register for the webinar.

Survey: 2014 Public Health Law Conference

Over 500 people attended the Public Health Law Conference in Atlanta. If you were among the attendees, give us your feedback — your valuable insights will help us improve future conferences! Please take a few minutes to complete our survey. The survey closes November 4.

Take the 2014 Public Health Law Conference Survey.