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Letter From the Editor
Letter From the Editor
ASLME - [PDF] (Free Download)
In recent years, ASLME and JLME have increasingly focused on public health law. Our partnership with the Network for Public Health Law has led to several national conferences and monthly webinars, and we have published more than ever on topical issues in the field, such as Ebola and emergency response planning, concussions and sports, tobacco and obesity issues, and vaccination mandates. As always, we are pleased to be involved with initiatives that connect real-life practice and education, and this supplement is one such opportunity. Together with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this supplement represents a continued effort to stimulate students' interest in the field by bringing realitybased practice into scholarly education.
Frances H. Miller - [PDF] (Free Download)
Public health law has never enjoyed particularly high standing in the curricular pecking order of most law schools; too few legal academics understand that more advances in human health and well-being have stemmed from implementing population-wide health measures, like vaccination and sanitation improvements, than from administering medical care to individuals. They often fail to recognize - disregard, if you will - public health law as a crucially important tool in the arsenal of measures to improve the general health and well-being of populations. Schools of public health, on the other hand, have been much more keenly aware of public health law's importance to social welfare, and have thus taken it more seriously in the classroom. But they have generally lacked the ability to help agencies bring legal tools to bear on public health problems because their students are not generally lawyers.
Symposium Articles
Introducing Law Students to Public Health Law through a Bed Bug Scenario
Jennifer S. Bard - [PDF] (Free Download)
Bedbugs are tiny, wingless insects which feed on mammal blood and leave behind painful, itchy sores. Although they can live in other settings, they are most commonly found in warm, dark places inhabited by humans, like beds. After being absent in the United States for over 60 years, thanks to powerful pesticides, bed bugs (Cimex lectularius), have returned in force and are present in every state and nearly every city. For reasons not entirely understood, bed bugs have developed resistance to traditional pesticides such as Permethrin and are therefore difficult to control. Although commonly believed to be associated with dirty housekeeping and associated with substandard housing, bed bugs are equally likely to be present in five-star hotels as they are in homeless shelters. They have come to infest schools, dorms, court houses, nursing homes, and mass transportation systems. Yet because they have been held in check by pesticides, there is very little contemporary research on whether they are qualify as a legally recognized "nuisance" let alone an actual threat to the public's health.

Personal Beliefs Exemption from Mandatory Immunization of Children for School Entry
Alexander M. Capron - [PDF] (Free Download)
Public health law courses typically focus a good deal of attention on two related topics: the duty of government agencies to control the spread of communicable diseases and their use of the police power to do so. While governments sometimes take forceful actions in responding to disease outbreaks, they can also act to prevent their occurrence. Indeed, one of the great triumphs of public health in the 20th century was the development of vaccines and their widespread use, which seemed on course to relegate many formerly crippling or deadly diseases to the history books. Particular success occurred with vaccinations against childhood diseases such as polio, smallpox, and measles, outbreaks of which once routinely closed schoolrooms, playgrounds, and community swimming pools. By the last quarter of the century, completion of an elaborate schedule of immunizations was not merely the standard in pediatric practice but an official requirement for school enrollment. As a result, the range of communicable diseases that had once terrified parents had become threats to be feared only in memory.

Including Public Health Content in a Bioethics and Law Course: Vaccine Exemptions, Tort Liability, and Public Health
Mary Crossley - [PDF] (Free Download)
Courses on bioethics and the law traditionally have focused their coverage on ethical issues arising from individual patients' encounters with the medical care system, but the course also provides an excellent opportunity to expose students to ethical issues arising at the intersection of medical care and public health. The following materials were assembled for use near the end of a semester-long law school course in Bioethics & Law. I taught the course relying heavily on problems contained in Barry R. Furrow et al., Bioethics: Health Care Law and Ethics, 7th ed. (2013), which was the primary text for the course.
Improving Regulatory Enforcement in the Face of Inadequate Resources
Sharona Hoffman - [PDF] (Free Download)
In law school we often focus on the importance of carefully crafting statutory and regulatory language. Textual ambiguities or sloppiness can significantly impair the efficacy of laws and regulations. Just as important as meticulous drafting, however, is the government's ability to enforce its rules. In the absence of adequate enforcement resources, the government's regulatory initiatives may well fail. The ability to promote public welfare depends as much on regulatory compliance as it does on the text of the regulations themselves.
Disaster Relief: Restricting and Regulating Public Health Interventions
Browne Lewis - [PDF] (Free Download)
The information contained in this teaching module and the accompanying PowerPoint slides is appropriate for use in a survey public health law course or seminar. The purpose of this lesson is two-fold. The first objective is to provide law students with an overview of the authority public health agencies have to set and enforce policies necessary to keep the population healthy. The second objective is to inform law students about the legal constraints courts have placed upon the actions of those agencies. The module ends with a project designed to give law students the opportunity to apply the law to a "real world" situation.

Additional Materials:

  1. Education Module [PPTX]

Public Health Control Measures in Response to Global Pandemics and Drug Resistance
Polly J. Price - [PDF] (Free Download)
As practitioners and educators appreciate, but beginning students often do not, health law encompasses a broad array of statutes, regulations, and governmental agencies not traditionally grouped together. "Public health law" is a general term for the legal structures that apply, for example, to the recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, along with the control measures to deal with Ebola patients in the United States. Some of these legal issues are internal to the nations involved, and some are external, or a matter of international law. These teaching materials provide an opportunity to canvass the many fields of law responsive to the threat of pandemic disease as well as control measures to combat development and spread of drug-resistant diseases such as tuberculosis.