|Law and governance
Death at the Wedding
Mod 2 Discussion Assignment
Based on your readings and research of current literature, is Public Health Law in need of reform? Share your thoughts.
Law and Public Health
Public health laws play a significant role in influencing and enhancing the health of the general population within societal norms and limits. In other words, the laws regulate the authority of the government within various jurisdictions with an aim to safeguard and promote public health (Hall, 2003). Various factors such as inconsistency, antiquity, and outdated laws, may compel a country to review its health policies. In this regard, the law reform process provides public health agencies with an opportunity to draw attention to their achievements and resource needs, and form enduring relationships with the legislative branch of the government. Besides, reviewing public health laws allows countries to update their policies in a more proactive and systematic manner, and identify priorities for the future (Hartsfield et al., 2007). It is in the light of this background that this paper highlights why the public health law needs reform.
Public health law reform is necessary for various reasons. For instance, studies have pointed out that most of the existing statutes are too old and outdated because majority of them were framed in the late 19th and 20th centuries (Hartsfield et al., 2007). As a result, most of these laws do not conform to modern health standards and evidence-based approaches to epidemiology and diseases. Additionally, some of the gaps in the legislation limit the government and public health officials from responding to emerging and established health challenges. Besides, they undermine the effective delivery of healthcare and patient safety (Hall, 2003). In this regard, updating or eliminating the outdated provisions will enhance public health and create room for other significant laws that conform to modern day health standards.
The other factor in public health law that calls for reforms is inconsistency. In other words, inconsistent laws at the state level negatively impact on healthcare delivery due to the variation in structure and procedures for preventing injury and diseases. Studies have shown that regulations and statutes among the American jurisdictions vary significantly in terms of scope, definition, and procedures, such that they defy any orderly categorization (Harrington, 2010). In this regard, the variations interfere with the rapid response to health threats at a national, regional, and global level. Additionally, they undermine the coherence of efforts to reduce risk factors for diseases and improve public health (Hall, 2003). It is in this respect that reforms to ensure consistency are essential to minimize health disparities and promote effective healthcare delivery.
In conclusion, public health laws are important in regulating and enhancing the general health of the population within various jurisdictions in the country. However, factors such as outdated and inconsistent laws are more likely to call for reforms to ensure uniformity and eliminate health disparities. In other word, most of the current health statutes are outdated and do not conform to modern medical standards and thus require an update. Additionally, research has shown that the laws and regulations at the state level vary significantly in terms of scope, procedure, and definition, such that they undermine the efforts to promote public health and reduce risk factors for diseases. In this regard, public health law reforms will ensure that the health statutes are consistent and conform to modern medical standards. It is, therefore, the duty of the government and policy makers to ensure that these changes are implemented in order to promote public health.
Hall, M. A. (2003). The scope and limits of public health law. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 46(3), S199-S209.
Harrington, S. E. (2010). The health insurance reform debate. Journal of Risk and Insurance, 77(1), 5-38.
Hartsfield, D., Moulton, A. D., & McKie, K. L. (2007). A review of model public health laws. American journal of public health, 97(Supplement_1), S56-S61.