November 2010 - CDC Public Health Law News
Thursday, November 18, 2010
From the Public Health Law Program,
Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
From the Public Health Law Program, Office of Strategy and Innovation, CDC
*** Tribute to Dr. Tony Moulton. It is with mixed emotions and great respect that the CDC Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support (OSTLTS) and the Public Health Law Program (PHLP) announce that Tony Moulton, Ph.D. will be leaving PHLP to join the CDC Laboratory Science Policy and Practice Program Office as the Associate Director for Policy.
On November 17th, I presented Dr. Moulton with the 2010 OSTLTS Impact Award for his service to public health law. Dr. Moulton has been Director or Co-Director of the PHLP since its inception in 2000. He has worked to improve the understanding and use of law as a public health tool through research, training, information resources, and development of partnerships among public health practitioners, policy makers, the legal community, the emergency management community, and educators and extramural researchers.
He led the Program during its development, and during the challenging and changing times following 9/11, when public health was in uncharted waters in terms of legal issues. And the challenges kept on coming, with the unprecedented needs related to Hurricane Katrina, H1N1, and now health reform. Through all of this, Dr. Moulton brought to bear his leadership and passion for public health and the law in addressing these challenges. In addition, he has shown leadership and support for training and mentoring the next generation of public health lawyers through fellowships and work study programs, and supports them in finding permanent positions in public health institutions, including CDC.
Dr. Moulton is a valuable leader, dedicated public servant and has significantly contributed to the public health law field. We wish him the best in his future endeavor.
Judith A. Monroe, MD FAAFP
Deputy Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Director for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support
*** HHS Tobacco Control Strategy. On November 10, 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services unveiled a new comprehensive tobacco control strategy that includes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposal "Required Warnings for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements." The proposed rule would implement the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act requirement that nine new, larger and more noticeable label warning statements and color graphic images depicting the negative health consequences of smoking appear on cigarette packages and in cigarette advertisements. The FDA will select the final images and warning statements by June 22, 2011, and the final rule will be implemented September 22, 2012. For more information, including information on the public comment period, please visit http://www.hhs.gov/tobaccocontrol/index.html.
*** IOM Report on Nutrition Labeling. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released Examination of Front of Package Nutrition Rating Systems and Symbols on October 13, 2010. Congress directed the CDC to commission the IOM study to examine and provide recommendations regarding front-of-package nutrition rating systems and symbols. The study has been carried out in two phases; this report marks the end of Phase 1 and concludes, among other things, that sodium is one of only four nutrients that warrant labeling on the front of food packages. Phase 2 began with a workshop on October 26, 2010 and the report of the second phase is due in the fall of 2011. For the full report please visit http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12957.
*** State Oral Health Policy Comparison Tool. The Children's Dental Project has updated the "State Oral Health Policy Comparison Tool" to capture information through August 15, 2010. The tool was originally developed in 2005-2006 to provide an overview of the current state of state oral health plans and to facilitate cross-state comparisons. For more information, please visit http://www.cdhp.org/resource/state_oral_health_policy_comparison_tool.
*** Tobacco Control Legal Update. The latest issue of the Legal Update released by the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium features the latest Food and Drug Administration actions under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act and new Consortium resources to assist state and local governments interested in regulating tobacco advertising and promotion, tobacco retailers, and tobacco pricing. To read the newsletter, please visit http://www.publichealthlawcenter.org/sites/
*** International Obesity Legal Issues. Joanna Stettner has written the article "International Obesity: Legal Issues" in the Emory International Law Review. The article examines the current international legal framework around obesity and the legal interventions implemented by various jurisdictions. To read the article, please visit
*** ASLME Conference Website. The American Society of Law, Medicine, & Ethics (ASLME) has updated the website for "Using Law, Policy, and Research to Improve the Public's Health: A National Conference" to include speaker presentations and updated information. The conference took place September 13-15, 2010, in Atlanta. To view the website, please visit http://www.aslme.org/PHLConference2010.
*** International Senior Lawyers Project. The International Senior Lawyers Project, an NGO based in NYC, seeks three highly experienced public health law attorneys for 6-8 week volunteer onsite missions to further develop the legal foundations and institutional capacity of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Government of Liberia through three key activities: 1) Helping to rewrite the Public Health Act of Liberia; 2) Adopting fair and transparent procedures for the promulgation of regulations; and 3) Assisting the General Counsel with healthcare-related contracts and pending legislation. Transportation and accommodations will be provided. For additional information: http://www.islp.org/Liberia_Probono.html
*** PHLP Resource. In the September issue of the Public Health Law News, we introduced a new resource, "Selected Legal and Policy Resources on Public Health Winnable Battles," which includes a new electronic mailbox to receive input and suggestions. Due to a technical issue, the electronic mailbox was not working, but is now operational. We apologize for any inconvenience and welcome your comments at http://email@example.com.
1. Food safety: how to keep our global menu off the recall list
States and Localities
2. Massachusetts: Effort to curb Lyme disease puts deer in the crosshairs
3. Michigan: Starting Sunday, bigger price for drunken driving at 0.17% or more
4. Contraception could be free under health care law
5. Low-cost dental care ignites wide debate
6. U.S. says genes should not be eligible for patents
7. Brussels calls for ban on "meow meow" drug despite "limited scientific evidence"
8. Trafficking, sexual exploitation of Haitian children in the Dominican Republic on the rise
California video game ban • Deadly raves • Happy Meal law • Florida seafood inspection • Michigan drivers • Caffeinated-alcohol drinks • Montana flu shots • New York medical examiner • Child sued • Washington bike accident • National emergency water • Egg lawsuits • Alzheimer's competency • Military concussions • Canada fireworks ban • Congo Republic polio • Kosovo organ-trafficking • Scotland smoking ban • Spain smoking ban
England smoking age • Mobile food vending • Alcohol tax • Smoke-free workplace • Spain traffic penalties • Health disparities • School nutrition standards • Local smoking ordinances • Prison health standards • Appalachian smoking legislation • Graduated driver licensing • Vaccine mandates • Counterfeit drug treaty • Drug regulation • Medical tourism • Health reform
California lead poisoning fees • Connecticut parakeets • Hawaii dog kennel • Illinois breathalyzer results • Louisiana oil-related injuries • Michigan crowded housing • New Jersey firearms forfeiture • Tennessee fireworks ban • Texas asbestos liability • Federal off-label drug use • Food poisoning causality • Horses on federal land • Cell phone emissions • Patient identity disclosure
Special Focus: Diabetes in the Law
Quotation of the Month
Faith Shapiro, Sudbury, Massachusetts, Conservation Commission employee
This Month's Feature
Overview of the First Decade of the CDC Public Health Law Program
"Food safety: how to keep our global menu off the recall list"
Christian Science Monitor (10/23/2010) Laurent Belsie, Peter Ford and others
Seven decades worth of progress in the food packaging, preparation, cultivation, and preservation industries may have left the U.S. food-safety system behind. Many nations have taken considerable steps to update food-safety systems, particularly exports. Attempts to update legislation in the U.S. are stalling with a bill that would strengthen the agency responsible for the nation's food supply in the Senate.
Caroline Smith DeWaal, food-safety director for the Washington non-profit Centers for Science in the Public Interest, says, "The U.S. is at risk if Congress continues to let our food-safety system languish." These risks become more apparent when one considers the recent mass recalls of lettuce, spinach, and eggs.
Fifteen federal agencies and many state agencies are responsible for food safety; the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) share primary responsibility and have many overlapping duties. Scholars and experts in the food-safety field are critical of the USDA's and FDA's approaches. Glenn Morris, director of the University of Florida's Emerging Pathogens Institute, says of safety in the poultry industry, "There is an awful lot of money being spent on guys standing around watching the chickens fly by . . . it's hard to tell what you are getting for your money."
In 2009 the House passed the Food Safety Enhancement Act, which gives the FDA authority to make mandatory recalls, to mandate more frequent inspections, and to require a food-safety plan from every food-processing facility and an annual registration fee from companies. If it is not passed before the end of the lame-duck session, the legislation's advocates will have to start over in both houses of Congress.
While changes need to be made in the food-safety industry, the US is up for the challenge. Dr. Robert Wallace, professor of epidemiology and internal medicine at the University of Iowa, says, "There are so many changes in the way food gets to the table. The number of people in the country is increasing . . . more and more food is being imported. More and more food is being consumed locally. There's a lot of opportunity out there."
[Editor's Note: To read the Food Safety Enhancement Act, please visit http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c111:3:./temp/~c111peNPJX::.]
"Effort to curb Lyme disease puts deer in the crosshairs"
Boston Globe (10/26/2010) Peter Schworm
In Dover, Massachusetts, cases of Lyme disease have increased greatly – likely due to a deer population that is almost three times greater than the levels recommended by state wildlife officials. In response, town officials have lifted bow hunting restrictions on specific public lands, allowing the town's first "deer culling."
According to Barbara Roth-Schechter, head of Dover's health board, "Five years ago, we couldn't have done this; people would have shot it down. But there's been an exponential increase in Lyme disease, and people are fed up."
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by tick bites. In towns near Dover there were 270 cases per 100,000 people in 2008, compared to only 90 in 2006.
Dover's decision to cull deer is the result of a two-year discussion and is being closely followed by experts who say the actions to curb the deer population are long overdue.
"The problem in the past has been 'Who wants to kill Bambi?' But now there's a growing push to do something," says Michael J. Sullivan, town administrator.
Matt Poole, the health agent in neighboring Edgartown, says "You can't really have a serious conversation about reducing Lyme disease without a conversation about reducing the deer herd."
Many residents still feel bow hunting the deer is not an appropriate response to the population problem. Ingrid De Baintner, a Dover resident, says, "Bow hunting is notoriously cruel. They often die long, tortuous deaths."
Faith Shapiro, who works for the Conservation Commission in Sudbury, which has allowed arrow hunting to control deer herds, says "There's probably nothing worse than a deer running in front of your car. Except Lyme disease."
"Starting Sunday, bigger price for drunken driving at 0.17% or more"
Detroit Free Press (10/26/2010) Chris Christoff
A new Michigan state law increasing penalties for first-time drunken-driving offenders with breathalyzer alcohol levels of 0.17% or more took effect on October 31, 2010. The threshold for drunken-driving charges in Michigan is 0.08%.
First-time offenders convicted with levels 0.17% or higher will automatically have their license suspended for a year while those convicted at the 0.08% threshold will have their licenses revoked for six months. Those with the higher levels could also receive bigger fines, six driving points, and be sentenced to mandatory alcohol treatment and 180 days in jail, almost double the jail time of those convicted at the lower level. Drivers convicted at the 0.17% level will be able to obtain a restricted drivers license if they install a breath alcohol ignition interlock on their cars, which blocks them from starting the engine if they have been drinking. The device would be set at a much lower breathalyzer level than 0.17%.
Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III believes that those stopped with breathalyzer levels twice the legal limits are not likely driving drunk for the first time. "It's the first time they've been caught," says Dunnings.
The law becomes effective as a $217,000 federal grant to increase road patrols is being implemented across 35 counties across Michigan.
The breath alcohol ignition interlock not only requires a breath to start the engine but also signals the driver to blow again while driving. If the vehicle will not start, the driver must contact a probation officer to unlock the ignition and eventually the court will receive an electronic report of the driver's alcohol registration.
Michigan representative Marc Corriveau, one of several sponsors of the legislation says of the law, "It will make Michigan roads safer and it will help people get the help they need."
[Editor's note: To read the Michigan law, please visit http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2009-2010/publicact/htm/2010-PA-0155.htm.]
"Contraception could be free under health care law"
Washington Post (10/31/2010) Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar
Some believe federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act preventive care provisions could provide free contraception to women in the U.S. This month, a panel of experts will meet and begin considering what kind of care qualifies as preventive and should be provided at no cost to the patient under the new law.
Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland believes the law's intent includes family planning, but for some the provision's intent is debatable, with public health views and moral beliefs sometimes at odds.
U.S. Catholic bishops maintain that because pregnancy is a healthy condition and preventive medical intervention is meant to prevent illness, contraceptives do not preventing illness and should not be provided to the patient. "We don't consider it to be health care, but a lifestyle choice. We think there are other ways to avoid having children than by ingesting chemicals paid for by health insurance," says John Haas, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center.
For others, the links between unplanned parenthood and illness are obvious. Dr. David Grimes, an obstetrician-gynecologist and professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina, says, "There is clear and incontrovertible evidence that family planning saves lives and improves health. Contraception rivals immunization in dollars saved for every dollar invested. Spacing out children allows for optimal pregnancies and optimal child rearing. Contraception is a prototype of preventative medicine."
Currently, almost all health insurance plans cover prescription contraceptives, as do Medicaid.
[Editor's note: To read the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, please visit http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ148/html/PLAW-111publ148.htm.]
"Low-cost dental care ignites wide debate"
New York Times (11/01/2010) Joyce Cohen
Alaska eases its shortage of dentists by allowing certified dental therapists; dental therapists may perform extractions and administer fillings, but are certified after only two years of training. Alaska is the only state that allows dental therapy practice.
Many in the dental profession are concerned the dental therapists are not equipped to treat such illnesses. The American Dental Association (ADA) opposes the use of a non-dentist for "irreversible procedures" for patient safety. Dr. Raymond Gist, the association's president, says, "If you have a person suffering from pain, that person has advanced disease. I would want that person to see a licensed dentist without delay."
Connecticut and nine other states are discussing implementation of midlevel dental provider systems for underserved residents, but in Connecticut the topic has become contentious. The ADA is strongly opposed to the plan, having lost a court battle in 2005 to block the Alaskan program.
The ADA claims other states have no need for programs similar to the Alaska program because rural residents are "accustomed to driving hours to reach a shopping or entertainment destinations and can be expected to travel similar distances to reach a dentist."
Dr. Mary Williard, an Alaska dentist and director of the therapist training program for the nonprofit Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, disagrees with the ADA's assertions. "Would I be satisfied to think that I would have to drive for five hours with a 3-year-old in the car to get care? No, I would prefer to have care closer to him," she says.
In the underserved areas of Alaska, the state's 14 dental therapists make a big difference and a two-year study, financed by W. K. Kellogg, Rasmuson and Bethel Community Services foundations, has found that the therapists provide "safe, competent, appropriate" care. Cases beyond the therapists' skill are referred to a supervising dentist.
"U.S. says genes should not be eligible for patents"
New York Times (10/29/2010) Andrew Pollack
On October 29, 2010, the United States Department of Justice filed a friend-of-the-court brief stating that genes should not be patentable, reversing years of federal policy.
The brief stated in part, "we acknowledge that this conclusion is contrary to the longstanding practice of the Patent and Trademark Office, as well as the practice of the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies that have in the past sought and obtained patents for isolated genomic DNA." It remains to be seen whether the Patent Office will adopt the position elucidated in the brief, but several agencies appear to have cooperated in the brief's creation.
The case in question was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Public Patent Foundation, and others challenging patents covering two genes which are evaluated to see if women have genetic predispositions to cancer. The patents are held by Myriad Genetic, which performs the genetic testing for over $3,000 per analysis, and the University of Utah Research Foundation.
While the government has issued many genetic patents, the brief indicates an overall change in philosophy, noting "the chemical structure of native human genes is a product of nature, and is no less a product of nature when that structure is 'isolated' from its natural environment than are cotton fibers that have been separated from cotton seeds or coal that has been extracted from the earth."
While both sides of the debate are heating up, Dr. James P. Evans, one of the University of North Carolinas' professors of genetics and medicine, says the patentability of genes has never before been examined in court and the brief is "a bit of a landmark, kind of a line in the sand."
"Brussels calls for ban on 'meow meow' drug despite 'limited scientific evidence.'"
EUobserver (10/20/2010) Leigh Phillips
The European Union (EU) Commission is seeking an EU-wide ban of mephedrone, a new designer drug on the market. The ecstasy-like drug is known by several different names, including meow meow, meph, drone, and MCAT.
Reportedly manufactured in China, the drug has only been available in western markets since 2007, rapidly gaining popularity among young people.
"It's a dangerous drug that is available online and on the street corner. People have died because of this drug, so I urge governments to move fast to control and criminalize it," said justice commissioner Viviane Reding. "We have a responsibility to protect young people against dangerous new psychoactive substances."
Some sources dispute accounts of mephedrone-related deaths. The EU Commission, however, states that the drug "has been linked to at least 37 deaths in the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland alone."
David Nutt, the former chairman of the UK government's Advisory Council, worried about the Commissions' call for legal action. "It is not yet possible to say how harmful mephedrone is given the lack of evidence. However, by legislating on a substance without reliable scientifically-based evidence, we run the risk of causing more harm through criminalizing users than might be caused by the drug itself," he said.
Mephedrone is already illegal in the UK and 15 other EU countries. In the UK those convicted of possession of the drug for personal use face up to five years in jail, while those convicted of distributing the drug can be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison.
"Trafficking, sexual exploitation of Haitian children in the Dominican Republic on the rise"
Miami Herald (10/23/2010) Gerald Reyes and Jacqueline Charles
The increased poverty and desperation in Haiti since the earthquake on January 12, 2010, has led to over 7,300 children being smuggled from Haiti into the Dominican Republic. According to one human rights organization that monitors child trafficking at 10 border points, the number is a 6,350 victim increase from 2009.
According to several smugglers and a United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF report, many of the smugglers are working with corrupt officials in both countries. "All the officials know who the traffickers are, but don't report them. It is a problem that is not going to end because the authorities' sources of income would dry up," says Regino Martínez, a Jesuit priest and director of the Border Solidarity Foundation in Dajabón, a Dominican border town.
Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive characterizes the 230-mile border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti as a "no man's land and an opening for bigger trafficking." Bellerive acknowledges culpability on both sides of the border, saying "There is not one person who feels they have an interest in controlling the frontier. There are people on the Haitian side who are profiting because they are the ones who organize the trafficking."
Dominican President Leonel Fernández's office claims to have increased border security and prosecutions and sanctions against traffickers, but Dominican immigration only records two trafficking convictions since 2006. According to a 2010 US State Department Report, the Dominican Republic "does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so."
California: U.S. Supreme Court to rule on California's law banning violent video games
"Calif. pushes to uphold ban on violent video games"
NPR (11/02/1010) Nina Totenberg
California: Raves will continue despite teen's death
"Coliseum panel overturns ban on raves"
Los Angeles Times (11/04/2010) Rong-gong Lin II and Andrew Blankstein
California: San Francisco takes the fat and the happy from McDonald's Happy Meals
"San Francisco law curbs McDonald's Happy Meals toys"
Reuters (11/02/2010) Lisa Baertlein
Florida: BP to pay $20 million over three years to fund seafood inspection
"BP to fund Fla. Seafood inspections"
USA Today (10/25/2010) James Ash
Michigan: State implements program to teach drivers with minor offenses and fix records
"Drivers get chance to fix records with classes"
Detroit Free Press (11/02/2010) Matt Helms
Michigan: Alcohol-related emergencies lead to ban of 55 caffeinated-alcoholic drinks
"Four Loko and 54 other energy drinks banned by state"
Detroit Free Press (11/05/2010) Melanie D. Scott
Montana: Employees fired for refusing to get flu shots, file suit claiming discrimination
"2 fired employees say requirement discriminates"
Billings Gazette (10/20/2010) Cindy Uken
New York: Four-year-old hit elderly woman with bicycle, can be sued for negligence
"4-year-old can be sued, judge rules in bike case"
New York Times (10/28/2010) Alan Feuer
New York: Medical examiner may legally keep teen's brain
"Parent's shocked to learn examiner kept son's brain"
CNN (10/27/2010) Sabriya Rice
Washington: WSDOT settles suit with paralyzed biker for $8 million, admits no fault
"WSDOT to pay $8 million over Montlake Bridge bike accident"
Seattle pi (10/25/2010) Scott Gutierrez
National: Illinois officials accused of lying to federal regulators and selling toxic water
"Are emergency water supplies safe? Fed and states can't tell for sure"
Chicago Tribune (10/26/2010) Michael Hawthorne
National: At least 1,600 illness linked to contaminated eggs, lawsuits difficult to prove
"Lawyers say proving egg-related lawsuits difficult"
ABC News (11/08/2010) Michael J. Crumb
National: Legal competency questioned as money woes are seen as a sign of Alzheimer's
"Money woes can be early clue to Alzheimer's"
New York Times (10/30/2010) Gina Kolata
National: Troops near blasts must be off field for 24 hours under new orders
"More troops' concussions diagnosed under new rules"
USA Today (10/28/2010) Gregg Zoroya
Canada: Fire-related injuries around Halloween decrease with fireworks ban
"Fireworks ban reduces Halloween call-outs"
Black Press (10/25/2010) Toby Gorman
Congo Republic: Congo government will vaccinate entire population against polio
"Congo Republic declares a polio emergency"
New York Times (11/10/2010) Donald G. McNeil, Jr.
Kosovo: Indictment filed in international organ-trafficking ring, at least seven arrested
"Seven charged in Kosovo organ-trafficking ring"
New York Times (11/15/2010) Dan Bilefsky
Scotland: Movement to ban smoking in vehicles spreads to Scotland
"Ban smoking in vehicles, Scottish Government urged by Ash group"
Herald Scotland (10/20/2010) Helen Puttick
Spain: Banning smoking in bars and cafés, Spain now one of EU's toughest on smoking
"Spain says 'adios' to smoking in bars, cafes"
CBS News (10/20/2010)
"Changes in smoking prevalence in 16–17-year-old versus older adults following a rise in legal age of sale: findings from an English population study"
Addiction (11/2010) Jennifer A. Fidler and Robert West
"An analysis of public health policy and legal issues relevant to mobile food vending"
American Journal of Public Health (11/2010) June M. Tester
"Effects of alcohol tax and price policies on morbidity and mortality: a systematic review" American Journal of Public Health (11/2010) Alexander C. Wagenaar, Amy L. Tobler, and Kelli A. Komro
"The impact of Massachusetts' smoke-free workplace laws on acute myocardial infarction deaths"
American Journal of Public Health (11/2010) Melanie S. Dove and others
"Impact of the penalty points system on road traffic injuries in Spain: a time–series study"
American Journal of Public Health (11/2010) Ana M. Novoa and others
"Increased black–white disparities in mortality after the introduction of lifesaving innovations: a possible consequence of US federal laws"
American Journal of Public Health (11/2010) Robert S. Levine and others
"Lessons learned from evaluations of California's statewide school nutrition standards"
American Journal of Public Health (11/2010) Gail Woodward-Lopez and others
"Local smoke-free ordinances are passing in tobacco-growing states"
American Journal of Public Health (11/2010) Sarah Sullivan and Stanton A. Glantz
"Patient safety: moving the bar in prison health care standards"
American Journal of Public Health (11/2010) Marc F. Stern, Robert B. Greifinger, and Jeff Mellow
"Smoke-free legislation in Appalachian counties"
American Journal of Public Health (11/2010) Ellen J. Hahn, Nancy L. York, and Mary Kay Rayens
"Utilization of research in policymaking for graduated driver licensing"
American Journal of Public Health (11/2010) Reece Hinchcliff and others
"Vaccination mandates vs. opt-out programs and rates of influenza immunization"
Journal of the American Medical Association (10/27/2010) Robert M. Rakita, Beverly A. Hagar, Joyce K. Lammert
"A counterfeit drug treaty: great idea, wrong implementation"
The Lancet (10/30/2010) Roger Bate and Amir Attaran
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(10)61416-X/fulltext (subscription required)
"The FDA and the black arts of drug regulation"
The Lancet (10/30/2010) Michael Rawlins
"Regulating medical tourism"
The Lancet (10/30/2010) Valorie A Crooks and Jeremy Snyder
"A 'broader regulatory scheme' — the constitutionality of health care reform"
New England Journal of Medicine (11/11/2010) S. Rosenbaum
California: Regulatory fees imposed for child lead poisoning prevention program constitutional
Equilon Enterprises v. State Board of Equilization
Court of Appeals of California, Third District
Case No. C059079, Superior Court No. 05AS02406
Decided October 29, 2010
Opinion by Judge Robie
Connecticut: Injunction against company's killing and removing parakeets on power lines denied
Friends of Animals v. United Illuminating Company
Appellate Court of Connecticut
Case No. 30006
Decided November 9, 2010
Opinion by Judge Robinson
Hawaii: Injunction and civil penalty against owner of unsanitary dog kennel affirmed
Young v. Department of Health
Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawaii
Case No. 29874
Decided October 25, 2010
Illinois: Use of breathalyzer test resulting in DUI conviction deemed constitutional
People v. Jacobs
Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District
Case No. 4-09-0878
Decided Nov. 1, 2010
Opinion by Justice Turner
Louisiana: Damages for construction workers injured by slop oil and toxic chemicals affirmed
Arabie v. Citgo Petroleum Corporation
Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Third Circuit
Case No. 10-244
Decided October 27, 2010
Opinion by Chief Judge Thibodeaux
Michigan: Contract allowing construction of housing for more than 2 unrelated persons denied
United Investments, Inc. v. City of Mount Pleasant
Court of Appeals of Michigan
Docket No. 292279
Decided October 21, 2010
Opinion per curiam
New Jersey: Forfeiture of weapons by "habitual drunkard" required due to public health threat
Return of Weapons in the Matter of R.B.
Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division
Superior Court Docket No. FO-10-101-09
Decided November 4, 2010
Decision per curiam
Tennessee: Enforcement of ban on fireworks absent zoning on annexed city property affirmed
SNPCO, Inc. v. City of Jefferson City
Court of Appeals of Tennessee
Case No. E2009-02355-COA-R3-CV
Decided October 29, 2010
Opinion by Judge Farmer
Texas: Decision eliminating health liability of successor to asbestos product manufacturer reversed
Robinson v. Crown Cork & Seal Co., Inc.
Supreme Court of Texas
Case No. 06-0714
Decided October 22, 2010
Opinion by Justice Hecht
Federal: Manufacturers' unlawful marketing of drug for off-label use injured non-profit provider
In re Neurontin Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation
U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
Civil Action No. 04-cv-10739-PBS
Decided Nov. 3, 2010
Opinion by Judge Saris
Federal: Dismissal over lack of proof of causality of food poisoning denied
Corbi v. Harrah's Hotel & Casino
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
Civil Case No. 08-5875 (RBK/JS)
Decided October 21, 2010
Opinion by Judge Kugler
Federal: Injunction against agency removal of excess wild horses from public land denied
Habitat for Horses v. Salazar
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
Case No. 10 Civ. 7684 (WHP)
Decided October 21, 2010
Opinion by Judge Pauley
Federal: Class action alleging adverse effects of cell phone emissions preempted
Farina v. Nokia, Inc.
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Case No. 08-4034
Filed October 22, 2010
Opinion by Judge Scirica
Federal: Motion to dismiss suit alleging disclosure of patient identity and treatment of TB denied
Speaker v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
Case No. 09-16154
Decided October 22, 2010
Opinion by Judge Hull
__________PHL NEWS QUOTATION OF THE MONTH___________
"There's probably nothing worse than a deer running in front of your car. Except Lyme disease."
-- Faith Shapiro, an employee of the Conservation Commission in Sudbury, which has allowed arrow hunting to control deer stocks.
Focus on Diabetes in the Law
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Currently, more than 24 million people in the United States have diabetes. CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation projects that as many as one third of the U.S. adult population will have diabetes by 2050, if current trends continue. Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95 percent of all U.S. diabetes cases. It most often occurs in people over 40 but its prevalence in children and adolescents is increasing. Among the risk factors associated with diabetes are older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, prior history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, physical inactivity, and specific race/ethnicity, such as American Indians, African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, and Asian/Pacific Islanders. Priority risk factors, including obesity, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity, are identified as CDC Winnable Battle topics and can be addressed through law-based interventions, among other components of comprehensive prevention initiatives.
The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), established several new federal diabetes treatment and prevention programs. CDC is responsible for implementing the National Diabetes Report Card and Death Certificate/Data Collection Education (Sec. 10407) and the National Diabetes Prevention Program (Sec. 399V-3).
ACA authorizes the National Diabetes Report Card to be published on a biennial basis; it will contain "aggregate health outcomes related to individuals diagnosed with diabetes and prediabetes, including, preventative care practices and quality of care, risk factors, and outcomes." The National Diabetes Prevention Program will include a "grant program for community-based diabetes prevention model sites," a program to determine "eligibility of entities to deliver community-based diabetes prevention services," as well as training and outreach programs. CDC will also carry out "evaluation, monitoring, and technical assistance, and applied research" in conjunction with the National Diabetes Prevention Program.
Many states have adopted laws authorizing health services to prevent or control diabetes. A table with information on many of those laws is accessible on the website of the National Conference of State Legislatures; the website of The American Diabetes Association also contains information on diabetes-related laws.
For additional information on diabetes and on diabetes-related activities of CDC and the National Institutes of Medicine, please visit the following websites:
CDC Public Health Resource
National Diabetes Education Program:
Overview of the First Decade of the CDC Public Health Law Program
In workshops convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in late 1999 and early 2000, CDC leaders and counterparts in state and local public health practice and other sectors identified the need for a CDC-led initiative to improve the use of law to advance the public's health. In response to these workshops, the CDC Office of the Director established the Public Health Law Program in March 2000. This note reports on some of the program's work during its first decade.
The program adopted three strategies supporting its mission—to improve the health of the public through law: first, to develop cost-effective, law-related tools for front-line public health practitioners and policy makers; second, to provide actionable legal information and technical assistance that those constituents, and CDC programs, can use to shape public health laws and implement legal best practices; and, third, to stimulate growth of a national community of practitioners, policy makers, applied researchers, and others aligning their efforts toward better use of law for improved public health.
The program's core method during the decade was to engage partners in every aspect of its work, focusing on needs identified in collaboration with partners and engaging them in the design, development, and implementation of new legal tools and information resources. Intramural partnerships were forged with CDC's central emergency preparedness, influenza coordination, and research offices, with programs focused on prevention and control of chronic disease, infectious disease, and injury, and with the agency's Office of General Counsel. Extramurally, the program worked closely with such established CDC partners as the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the National Association of County and City Health Officials. In addition, it engaged new partners from the spectrum of organizations and public agencies active in the enactment, implementation, enforcement, and adjudication of state, local, and federal laws. These included, for example, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Milbank Memorial Fund; legal counsel to public health agencies; associations of public health and health care counsel (the National Association of Attorneys General, the American Bar Association's Health Law Section, and the American Health Lawyers Association); the U.S. Department of Justice (the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys, individual U.S. Attorneys and their staff, and the National Advocacy Center); national, state and local law enforcement agencies and professional associations; the Federal Judicial Center; and corrections officials in the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and state and local corrections agencies.
From these strategies and partnerships came an array of practical tools and information resources, many cosponsored by partnering CDC programs and other federal agencies, for public health practitioners and policy makers. These tools are available at http://www2a.cdc.gov/phlp/index.asp. Among them are the following:
- Tools for improved public health emergency legal preparedness
- The Draft Model State Emergency Health Powers Act
- The "Forensic Epidemiology" and "Public Health Emergency Law" curricula
- The "Framework for Improving Cross-Sector Coordination for Emergency Preparedness and Response"
- The "National Action Agenda for Public Health Legal Preparedness," and
- The "Menu of Suggested Provisions for Public Health Mutual Aid Agreements."
- Tools for improved chronic disease prevention and control
- The "Proceedings of the National Summit on Legal Preparedness for Obesity Prevention and Control"
- Guides to adoption of laws stemming from the "2010 Public Health Law Summit on Dietary Sodium Reduction," and
- The "Public Health Law 101 Symposium" curriculum and methodology to customize public health law training for CDC's workforce
- Tools for improved infectious disease prevention and control
- The "Social Distancing Law Assessment Template"
- The "Menu of Selected Provisions for State Tuberculosis Control Programs" and related legal handbook for tuberculosis control practitioners
- A portfolio of tools supporting state laws that authorize expedited partner therapy (EPT) for chlamydia and gonorrhea prevention, and
- Model state legislation for prevention of healthcare-associated infections and a menu of legal provisions for improved state and local response to foodborne disease outbreaks (in development in 2010).
Also from this approach came such new tools, information, and community building resources as the following:
- The volume "Law in Public Health Practice" (Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 2007) oriented specifically to public health practitioners and counsel
- The nine-unit "Public Health Law 101" curriculum for front-line practitioners
- The monthly "CDC Public Health Law News," a digest of developments and innovations in public health that had 43,000 subscribers by 2010
- The "Public Health Law Listserv" that supports online, peer-to-peer problem solving among legal counsel to state public health agencies and with Public Health Law Program staff
- A host of practice-oriented reports on the impact specific laws have on the public's health, stemming from eleven extramural, peer-reviewed research projects funded by the program's applied research initiative, and
- Five national public health law conferences held annually between 2002 and 2006.
The CDC Public Health Law News is published the third Thursday of each month except holidays, plus special issues when warranted. It is distributed only in electronic form and is free of charge. News content is selected solely on the basis of newsworthiness and potential interest to readers. CDC and DHHS assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by CDC or DHHS. Opinions expressed by the original authors of items included in the News, or persons quoted therein, are strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of CDC or DHHS. References to products, trade names, publications, news sources, and non-CDC Websites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or DHHS. Legal cases are presented for educational purposes only, and are not meant to represent the current state of the law. The findings and conclusions reported in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of CDC. The News is in the public domain and may be freely forwarded and reproduced without permission. The original news sources and the CDC Public Health Law News should be cited as sources. Readers should contact the cited news sources for the full text of the articles.
For past issues or to subscribe to the CDC Public Health Law News, visit http://www.cdc.gov/phlp/news/archives.html. For help with subscriptions or to make comments or suggestions, send an email to Lindsay Culp at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The News is published by the Public Health Law Program, Office for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Lindsay Culp, J.D., M.P.H., Editor; Abigail Ferrell, A.B.J., Writer. Special thanks to Tara Ramanathan, J.D., M.P.H. for her help on this issue.