The Network Report


2016 Public Health Law Conference

Join public health lawyers, practitioners, officials, policymakers, researchers and advocates from around the country for the 2016 Public Health Law Conference, taking place September 15 – 17 in the nation’s capital. Learn about laws and policies impacting critical public health issues such as disease prevention, drug overdose, health data sharing, and access to care. Explore implications for the Affordable Care Act and other legislation as the country elects new leadership. Early bird registration is now open!

Public Health Law and Policy Perspectives

Federal Court Strikes Down Idaho’s Ag-Gag Law — Implications for Public Health

Agricultural gag, or Ag-Gag, laws target undercover investigations of animal operations by preventing investigators from filming and photographing activity on farms without consent. The laws are meant to protect livestock farms from receiving harsh criticism of legal operations, but on the flip side, the laws prevent whistle blowers from exposing unsafe food practices when it does exist.

Public Health Legal Resources

Utah Overdose Prevention Legislation

Utah ranks fifth in the nation in per capita drug overdose deaths, and more than 500 Utahns were killed by drug overdose in 2012. Seventy-five percent of these deaths involved opioids. In 2014, Utah passed a law aimed at increasing emergency medical care for overdose victims through a Good Samaritan law. Later, a bill was passed to increase the access to the overdose reversal drug, naloxone. This fact sheet explains these two laws in further detail.

Upcoming Webinars

Legal and Policy Options to Improve Oral Health

Untreated dental problems can contribute to a myriad of issues. For children, these issues include attention deficits, trouble in school, and problems eating. Adults can face difficulty obtaining a job and forming relationships. The burden of oral disease is unequally distributed, with minorities and low-income people significantly more likely to report poor oral health. Attend today’s webinar, which explores three legal and policy approaches to improve oral health at 1 p.m. (ET).

Tribal Emergency Preparedness Law and Practice

Tribes have the inherent authority to undertake measures to prepare and manage public health emergencies in the manner most appropriate for their communities. Both Tribal law and federal law can impact emergency preparedness practice. This webinar on September 24 offers a discussion on how law can impact Tribal emergency preparedness practice, including a discussion on the legal mechanisms for emergency declarations.

Ask the Experts

Alcohol Breath Analyzer Tests in an Employment Setting

A requestor in Georgia contacted the Network for information on the legality of refusing a breath analyzer (commonly referred to by the brand name Breathalyzer) test for alcohol when asked to submit to one. Breath analyzers do not directly measure blood alcohol content or concentration, but instead estimate blood alcohol by measuring the amount of alcohol on the breath. Such tests are used in a variety of contexts, including employment.

Public Health Law Research

Involuntary Outpatient Commitment Laws

Under involuntary outpatient commitment laws individuals with mental illness who meet certain criteria, such as danger to self or others, are required to receive mandatory outpatient treatment. This new LawAtlas dataset explores state laws and regulations that govern involuntary outpatient commitment.

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