Assessing Cross-sectoral and Cross-jurisdictional Coordination for Public Health Emergency Legal Preparedness

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 36 (S1):36-41 (2008)
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Abstract

A community's abilities to promote health and maximize its response to public health threats require fulfillment of one of the four elements of public health legal preparedness, the capacity to effectively coordinate law-based efforts across different governmental jurisdictions, as well as across multiple sectors and disciplines. Government jurisdictions can be viewed “vertically” in that response efforts may entail coordination in the application of laws across multiple levels, including local, state, tribal, and federal governments, and even with international organizations. Coordination of legal responses to public health emergencies also may involve a horizontal dimension comprising numerous and diverse sectors, such as public health, public and private health care, emergency management, education, law enforcement, the judiciary, and the military.Although responses to many acute health threats can implicate multiple jurisdictions and sectors, the jurisdictional and sectoral dimensions of legal preparedness are complex and may vary substantially by the nature of a threat, its geographic and geopolitical extent, and the operational response demanded.

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Richard Hogan
Northwest Missouri State University

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