September 2012 - CDC Public Health Law News
Thursday, September 20, 2012
In this Edition
- California: Mandatory limits for chemical
- Illinois: Pertussis vaccination law
- Louisiana: Statewide public health emergency
- New York: Sugary beverage regulation
- New York: School sunscreen rules
- Oregon: Portland fluoride approval
- National: Breast cancer gene patent
- National: New drug, ‘molly’
- National: Hantavirus warnings
This Month's Feature: National Preparedness Month
Quotation of the Month
- Next Steps in Health Reform Conference
October 16, 2012
9 am–3 pm
American University's Washington College of Law, 4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Room 603
The conference will feature a lunchtime keynote on the broader implications of health reform and three in-depth panel discussions on the challenges and opportunities that implementation of health reform presents to states, health plans, and providers. The event is open to the public and will be particularly relevant to anyone practicing or interested in health law and policy. Registration is free but required.
Find more information
Register for the conference
Registration Deadline: October 10
- Call for Nominations: Foundations of Health Law
The American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics (ASLME) and the Association of American Law Schools Section on Law, Medicine & Health Care seek nominations of foundational works of scholarship in health law, very broadly defined, to publish an edited volume in an academic press. The nomination must have been published in English before December 31, 2010 and must be accompanied by a brief (fewer than 300 words) description of the importance of the scholarly work.
Send to: Ted Hutchinson, Executive Director, American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 765 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02445 (or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Find more information
Submission Deadline: December 31, 2012
- Detailed agenda 2012 Public Health Law Conference: Practical Approaches to Critical Challenges
The Network for Public Health Law is hosting the conference October 10–12, 2012 at the Loews Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference will include several concurrent sessions focusing on different public health law topics, such as prevention and promotion at the community level, changes and challenges to public health legal infrastructure, challenges to public health authority, and others.
Read the agenda [PDF - 363KB]
Register for the conference
- Good Decision Making in Real Time: Practical Public Health Ethics for Public Health Professionals
October 10, 2012
8:00 am–12:00 pm
Loews Hotel, Atlanta Georgia
The free workshop will give public health professionals tools and practical examples to address common ethical challenges in public health practice. The workshop will introduce the basics of public health ethics and then engage participants in a discussion of case studies. The session will also explore the overlap between ethics and law. It is a precursor to the 2012 Public Health Law Conference
Facilitated by Drue Barrett, PhD, Lead, Public Health Ethics Unit, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, CDC
To register contact email@example.com (space is limited)
Find more information [PDF - 263KB]
- Newborn Screening Webinar
Thursday, September 27, 2012
The Network for Public Health Law, in partnership with several organizations, is hosting a free six-part webinar series on legal issues surrounding newborn screening. During a newborn screening, a few drops of blood are taken from a newborn's heel to test for harmful or potentially fatal disorders. State laws govern what disorders are tested for and how the data is stored, shared, and protected. The next webinar will take place on
Registration not required
Find more information and access the webinar
- The Public Health Law Program's Public Health Emergency Preparedness Clearinghouse is a centralrepository for emergency preparedness-related legal reports, tools, and training. The Clearinghouse aids jurisdictions when considering updates and clarifications to their public health emergency legal preparedness activities.
- The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and CDC's Public Health Law Program developed toolkits to help public health officials understand and use legal authorities to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies. The toolkits address needs state and local public health agencies identified regarding specific legal questions and uncertainties that were perceived barriers to effective planning and response to infectious disease outbreaks, natural disasters, intentional acts, and other emergency events. The toolkits are resources for education, training, and preparation for emergencies. They can be quick reference guides when responding to an emergency. Find more information and access the toolkits.
- The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and CDC's Public Health Law Program have published "Public Health and the Law: An Emergency Preparedness Training Kit." The training kit is designed to prepare public health practitioners, their legal counsel, and other partners to understand and effectively address changes in the legal environment that result from an emergency. The kit includes a locally-customizable PowerPoint curriculum and exercise scenario, instructor's manual, training component summaries, and training videos. Find more information and purchase the training kit.
- CDC offers a wide variety of emergency preparedness resources, covering concerns from West Nile Virus to bioterrorism to natural disasters. In honor of National Preparedness Month, find more information about the emergency preparedness and response resources.
- Massachusetts: Easton Board of Health approves regulation for mosquito-borne illness containment
Easton Patch (09/05/2012) Patrick Maguire
Easton, Massachusetts experienced a large number of mosquito pools infected with of eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV), despite a vigorous pesticide campaign. EEEV causes eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in humans when an infected mosquito bites a person. According to CDC, EEEV is a rare illness in humans. Most humans who are infected show no symptoms. Severe cases of EEE can cause an infected individual's brain to swell. These severe cases begin with the sudden onset of chills, high fever, headaches, and vomiting. EEE then progresses into disorientation, seizures, or coma.
Due to the high number of infected ponds, the Easton Massachusetts Board of Health has passed a regulation empowering the Board of Health to limit outdoor activities during times of elevated risk for mosquito-borne illness. The proposed regulation, which was discussed at a public town hall meeting on September 4, 2012 and passed on September 5, 2012, allows the board to instate a curfew for public and private property. The regulation includes potential fines of up to $1,000 for those who violate the ban, after a first offense.
The regulation was hotly contested and many residents expressed concerns that it is an overreach of the Board's authority. "I resent that you're taking away my right as an informed citizen to make decisions for myself or my family," said Meredith Keach, an Easton resident.
Easton's Public Health Commissioner, John Auerbach, feels the regulation allowing such bans is needed because of the gravity of the issue. "Easton is actually the town in the state that has the highest risk of any community," said Auerbach.
Jay Talerman, legal counsel for the town, said that passing the regulation was done in deference to the citizens, but may not have been necessary. "Other towns just used Mass General Laws, went forward and enacted a ban—that's it, they did it. Knowing the town and the educated people here, [we thought] they ought to be able to come here to speak their piece," Talerman said of the town hall meeting held before the regulation was passed.
The Board does not have any immediate plans to enact a ban.
- National: More young adults have insurance after health care law, study says
New York Times (09/10/2012) Sabrina Tavernise
In 2011, the portion of young adults without health insurance fell by one-sixth from the previous year, according to recent data released by CDC. This number represents the largest annual decline since 1997, when CDC began tracking how many young adults have health insurance.
The report, "The Census Bureau's Upcoming Report on Health Insurance Coverage in 2011: What to Watch for [PDF - 234KB]," (the Report) was written by Matthew Broaddus, a research analyst at the Center on Budget and Policies Priorities, which published the Report. The Report was based on data from CDC's National Health Interview Survey, which queried about 35,000 households. While the survey didn't ask how the newly insured obtained coverage, Broaddus said the increased coverage is probably caused by the provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that allows children to remain on parents' insurance until their 26th birthday, which took effect in September 2010.
Experts from a variety of backgrounds and fields agree that the PPACA's dependent provision is the only plausible explanation for the insurance coverage increase. Joseph Antos, a health care policy expert at the American Enterprise Institute, noted that young adults have faced some of the worst conditions created by the economic recession and should be less likely to be insured. Other than the increase in coverage, however "[n]othing else went well for this age group," Antos said.
Before the dependents' provision, most young adults were forced off of their parents' insurance plan after high school or college graduation, usually at age 18 or 21. The Report was published in anticipation of the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey, which will clarify changes in health insurance coverage. The Census Bureau's report will be based on the Current Population Survey and is considered more inclusive because it represents data from such a large sample, about 100,000 households.
- California: Suit claims CA Department of Public Health 8 years late in limiting chemical
California drinking water: Department of Public Health sued over ‘Erin Brockovich Chemical'
Huffington Post (09/06/2012) Gosia Wozniacka
- Illinois: New law requires students to be vaccinated for pertussis
Law requires new vaccine for Illinois students
Rockford Register Star (08/13/2012)
- Louisiana: Statewide public health emergency in effect until Oct. 3
Public health emergency in Louisiana, yes, but also more cleanup
Los Angeles Times (09/04/2012) Michael Muskal
[Editor's note: In additional to Louisiana's public health emergency declaration, Alabama [PDF - 119KB], Florida [PDF - 234KB], and Mississippi [PDF - 566KB] also declared public health emergencies in response to Hurricane Isaac, which struck the Gulf of Mexico in late August, 2012. A Presidential State of Emergency was also declared for both Louisiana and Mississippi.]
- New York: Sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces banned in NYC
New York health board approves ban on large sodas
CNN (09/13/2012) George Lerner
[Editor's note: Find more information about the New York City's regulation limiting sugary beverages.]
- New York: Students no longer burned by school sunscreen rules
State Ed Department agrees to change sunscreen rule in schools
- Oregon: Largest US holdout approves adding fluoride to water by March 2014
Portland approves adding fluoride to water
Huffington Post (09/12/2012) Steven Dubois
- National: Court rules breast cancer genes may be patented
Ruling could alter gene pool of US patent law
New Legal Review (09/05/2012)
- National: Drug Enforcement Agency concerned about new drug, ‘molly'
There's something (potentially dangerous) about molly
CNN (08/16/2012) Marina Csomor
- National: Yosemite National Park and World Health Organization issue warnings
Wider warning after 3rd Yosemite hantavirus death New York Times (09/08/2012) Marc Santora
- Connecticut: Failure to exhaust procedural remedies in suit to bury husband in yard
Piquet v. Town of Chester et al [PDF - 119KB]
Case No. SC 18723
Supreme Court of Connecticut
Filed Aug. 28, 2012
Opinion by Justice Peter T. Zarella
- Missouri: Village's complaint superseded by federal law in railway flooding case
Village of Big Lake, Missouri v. BNSF Railway Co.
Case No. WD74613
Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District
Filed Aug. 28, 2012
Opinion by Judge Roger M. Prokes
- New York: Duty to warn of third party components in asbestos case
In the Matter of New York City Asbestos Litigation Ronald Dummitt v. A.W. Chesterton et al.
Case No. 1090196/10
Supreme Court, New York County
Decided Aug. 20, 2012
Opinion by Judge Joan A. Madden
- New York: Family Healthcare Decisions Act not a substitute for guardian appointment
In the Matter of Restaino v. AG, an Alleged Incapacitated Person
Case No. 30500-I-12
Supreme Court, Nassau County
Decided Aug. 29, 2012
Opinion by Judge Arthur M. Diamond
- New York: Chiropractors to perform ‘manipulation under anesthesia' under state law
Willets Point Chiropractic P.C. as Assignee of Marina Flores v. Allstate Insurance; Richard Grosso, D.C. PC as Assignee of Marina Flores v. Allstate Insurance
Civil Court of the City of New York, Richmond County
Case No. 017113/11
Decided Aug. 16, 2012
Opinion by Judge Philip S. Straniere
- Federal: Towing case remanded for provision-by-provision safety review of law
California Tow Truck Ass'n v. City and County of San Francisco [PDF - 156KB]
Case Nos. 11-15040, 11-15041
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Filed Aug. 27, 2012 Opinion by Judge John Michael Seabright
Quotation of the Month: Judge Philip S. Straniere of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Richmond County. Willets Point Chiropractic P.C. as Assignee of Marina Flores v. Allstate Insurance; Richard Grosso, D.C. PC as Assignee of Marina Flores v. Allstate Insurance
"Your toe bone connected to your foot bone,
Your foot bone connected to your ankle bone,
Your ankle bone connected to your leg bone,
Your leg bone connected to your knee bone,
Your knee bone connected to your thigh bone,
Your thigh bone connected to your hip bone,
Your hip bone connected to your back bone,
Your back bone connected to your shoulder bone,
Your shoulder bone connected to your neck bone,
Your neck bone connected to your head bone,
I hear the word of the Lord !"
Judge Philip S. Straniere quoting "One of the versions of ‘Dem Bones' also known as ‘Dry Bones' or ‘Dem Dry Bones' an often recorded folk song attributed to James Weldon Johnson." Willets Point Chiropractic P.C. v. Allstate , 2012 NY Slip Op 51614(U).
About Public Health Law News
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.
The News is published by the CDC Public Health Law Program in the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support.
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