Preparedness and response to terrorism: a framework for public health action.
Political group violence in the form of terrorist actions has become a reality worldwide, affecting the health and economies of populations. As a consequence, preparedness and response are becoming an integral part of public health action. Risk appraisal, preservation of human and civil rights and communications within and between countries are all issues to be considered in the process. The combination of the natural history of terrorist actions and the epidemiological triangle model has been adapted in this paper and suggested as a comprehensive approach for preparedness and action. It covers preparedness (pre-event), response (event) and the consequences (post-event) of a terrorist attack. It takes into account the human factor, vectors and environment involved in each one of the phases. KEY POINTS: Terrorism is a global reality with varying underlying causes, manifestations and impact on the health of the public. Preparedness, response and rehabilitation are an integral part of public health action. Consideration of the pre-event, event and post-event phases in terrorist actions, together with the human factor, vector/agent and environment in each of these phases, offers a framework for public health preparedness, response and rehabilitation. Planning should consider risk assessment, risk communication, inter-sectorial cooperation, enactment of laws and regulations which consider protection of the public's health and civil liberties. Allocation of resources would need to make allowance for maintenance and development of ongoing public health activities. (+info)
Manifold restraints: liberty, public health, and the legacy of Jacobson v Massachusetts.
February 2005 marks the centenary of one of the most important pieces of public health jurisprudence, the US Supreme Court case of Jacobson v Massachusetts, which upheld the authority of states to pass compulsory vaccination laws. The Court's decision articulated the view that the freedom of the individual must sometimes be subordinated to the common welfare. We examined the relationship between the individual and society in 20th-century public health practice and law and the ways that compulsory measures have been used to constrain personal liberty for the sake of protecting the public health. (+info)
Jacobson v Massachusetts at 100 years: police power and civil liberties in tension.
A century ago, the US Supreme Court in Jacobson v Massachusetts upheld the exercise of the police power to protect the public's health. Despite intervening scientific and legal advances, public health practitioners still struggle with Jacobson's basic tension between individual liberty and the common good. In affirming Massachusetts' compulsory vaccination law, the Court established a floor of constitutional protections that consists of 4 standards: necessity, reasonable means, proportionality, and harm avoidance. Under Jacobson, the courts are to support public health matters insofar as these standards are respected. If the Court today were to decide Jacobson once again, the analysis would likely differ--to account for developments in constitutional law--but the outcome would certainly reaffirm the basic power of government to safeguard the public's health. (+info)
Jacobson v Massachusetts: it's not your great-great-grandfather's public health law.
Jacobson v Massachusetts, a 1905 US Supreme Court decision, raised questions about the power of state government to protect the public's health and the Constitution's protection of personal liberty. We examined conceptions about state power and personal liberty in Jacobson and later cases that expanded, superseded, or even ignored those ideas. Public health and constitutional law have evolved to better protect both health and human rights. States' sovereign power to make laws of all kinds has not changed in the past century. What has changed is the Court's recognition of the importance of individual liberty and how it limits that power. Preserving the public's health in the 21st century requires preserving respect for personal liberty. (+info)
Inmate fees for health care services. Final rule.
The Bureau of Prisons (Bureau) finalizes rules describing procedures we will follow for charging inmates fees for certain kinds of health services, as required under the Federal Prisoner Health Care Copayment Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106-294, October 12, 2000, 114 Stat 1038, codified at 18 U.S.C. 4048). (+info)
Public health implications of substandard correctional health care.
US citizens face a growing threat of contracting communicable diseases owing to the high recidivism rate in state and federal prisons, poor screening and treatment of prisoners, and inferior follow-up health care upon their release. Insufficient education about communicable diseases--for prisoners and citizens alike--and other problems, such as prejudice against prisoners, escalating costs, and an unreliable correctional health care delivery system for inmates, all contribute to a public health problem that requires careful examination and correction for the protection of everyone involved. (+info)
The changing demographic, legal, and technological contexts of political representation.
Three developments have created challenges for political representation in the U.S. and particularly for the use of territorially based representation (election by district). First, the demographic complexity of the U.S. population has grown both in absolute terms and in terms of residential patterns. Second, legal developments since the 1960s have recognized an increasing number of groups as eligible for voting rights protection. Third, the growing technical capacities of computer technology, particularly Geographic Information Systems, have allowed political parties and other organizations to create election districts with increasingly precise political and demographic characteristics. Scholars have made considerable progress in measuring and evaluating the racial and partisan biases of districting plans, and some states have tried to use Geographic Information Systems technology to produce more representative districts. However, case studies of Texas and Arizona illustrate that such analytic and technical advances have not overcome the basic contradictions that underlie the American system of territorial political representation. (+info)
Post-affirmative action Supreme Court decision: new challenges for academic institutions.
This article describes several aspects of the University of Michigan Supreme Court cases regarding diversity in higher education. It provides a number of resources that are useful in shaping the rationale and institutional practices and policies for admissions and the recruitment and retention of diverse classes of students for the health professions. (+info)