Feature: Profiles in Public Health Law
|Interview with Councilman Chester Antone Councilman of the Tohono O’odham Nation Legislature representing the Great Pisinemo District, Chairman of the 2014 Tribal Advisory Council|
|ERISA Issue Brief. This issue brief summarizes responses to technical assistance requests PHLP received regarding the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and its relationship to health benefit plans and state laws that address health system transformation.|
Public Health Law News Quiz Winner: Samantha Harrykisson
In This Edition
Quotation of the Month
- Call for abstracts for APHA's 142nd Annual Meeting. The American Public Health Association is now accepting abstracts for the 142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition, which will be held November 15–19, 2014. The meeting's theme is Healthography: How Where you Live Affects Your Health and Well-being. Abstracts are due between February 10–14. Find more information about the conference and specific abstract submission deadlines.
- Public health law vaccine exemption webinar. The Network for Public Health Law will host a free webinar, Blocked Shots—Examining the Basis, Nature and Public Health Impact of Vaccine Exemption Laws, on Wednesday, February 19, 2014, at 1:00 pm (ET). This webinar will examine the legal and ethical basis for vaccination requirements, review a recent assessment of how non-medical vaccination exemption laws impact the annual incidence rates of vaccine-targeted diseases, and explore how states are changing their vaccine exemption laws. Find more information and register for the webinar.
- Job openings with National Indian Health Board. The National Indian Health Board is seeking applicants for three career opportunities at their Washington, D.C. headquarters. The positions are 1) Director of Public Health Programs, 2) Tribal Health Care Reform Program Manager, and 3) Tribal Health Reform Policy and Program Associate. All positions are open until filled. Find more information and apply for the positions.
- Policy fellowship opportunity. The Ohio State University Center of Excellence in Regulatory Tobacco Science invites applications from people interested in obtaining a post-graduate research fellowship in tobacco regulatory policy. The two–three-year training program is geared toward participants interested in an academic research career. Individuals with a J.D., Ph.D, or equivalent, preferably with research training in public health, public policy, or other population sciences, may apply. Applications are being accepted and are reviewed on a rolling basis. A position could begin as early as January 1, 2014. Find more information and apply for the fellowship. [PDF 156KB]
- 2014 Public Health Law Conference. The 2014 Public Health Law Conference will take place October 16–17, 2014, in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference will gather public health and legal experts from across the country to examine and discuss today's critical challenges in public health law. Find more information about the conference and learn how to get the early bird registration rate.
- ERISA issue brief. This issue brief summarizes responses to technical assistance requests PHLP received regarding the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and its relationship to health benefit plans and state laws that address health system transformation. Find more information and read the ERISA issue brief.
- Revised pool code module available. The Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC), is a collaborative effort of public health, academia, and industry working to protect individuals, families, and communities from preventable waterborne diseases and injuries through evidence-based guidance. The MAHC's Facility Design and Construction Module has been revised and re-posted after the first public comment period. Find more information and access the revised module.
- Los Angeles Times (12/16/2013) Tony BarbozaOn December 16, 2013, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James P. Kleinberg found that ConAgra, NL Industries, and Sherwin-Williams were liable for exposing children to a known poison and had created a "public nuisance" by selling lead-based paint for decades before it was banned in 1978.Of the $1.1 billion judgment, $605 million will be set aside for lead removal in Los Angeles County. The judgment will also create a fund paying for inspections and lead abatement on the inside walls of homes. The fund will be administered by California's Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch. "The court is convinced there are thousands of California children in the Jurisdictions whose lives can be improved, if not saved through a lead abatement plan," wrote Judge Kleinberg in the ruling.The judgment is the long-awaited conclusion after thirteen years of litigation. The plaintiffs argued that the defendant firms promoted the use of lead-based paint even though the dangers lead poisoning posed to children had been widely known for decades. The defendants maintained they were ignorant that the levels of lead in their paints were a public health problem until they were taken off the market in 1979."The people who are affected are largely poor and minority children who live in old homes that haven't been repaired," said Joseph Cotchett, plaintiffs' attorney in the case.DuPont and Atlantic Richfield, two other defendants, were not held responsible.
- USA Today (01/05/2014) Laura UngarIn 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that e-cigarettes were being marketed to minors. Reports of e-cigarette poisoning among children have increased as have reports of high school students using e-cigarettes. Currently, the FDA does not ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.E-cigarettes are battery-operated electronic devices that heat liquid nicotine, create nicotine vapor. The nicotine cartridges are often flavored and in addition to more common tobacco flavors, such as menthol, e-cigarettes are also available in bubblegum and cola.These flavors are being blamed for the rise in e-cigarette-related child poisonings, which are often ingested when children drink from or lick the nicotine cartridges. Poisoning can also result from skin contact alone. The National Poison Data System reported 427 e-cigarette-related poisoning exposures in 2012."Kids will eat most anything and since children are not used to consuming nicotine, their symptoms may be more severe at lower levels," said George Rodgers, associate medical director of the Poison Control Center.E-cigarette manufacturers are working to make the products less dangerous to children. "If you're an adult, it's a matter of choice. But we have to safeguard those who don't have the ability to safeguard themselves," said Ray Story, chief executive officer of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association. Story also indicated that his organization has advocated for tamper-evident caps and safety packaging.
- California: Proposed benefits from penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beveragesCalifornia soda tax would save hundreds of millions in medical costs, study finds
Huffington Post (01/03/2014) Lydia O'Connor
[Editor's note: Find more information and read PLOS One's Health Benefits of Reducing Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake Among High Risk Populations of California: Results from the Cardiovascular Disease Policy Model.]
- Idaho: Mental health commitment cases increased 82% since 2007Idaho looks at ways to mend mental health system
Idaho Statesman (01/04/2014) Brian Smith
- Illinois: EMTs may provide advanced life support under new rural ambulance lawNew Illinois law will help rural ambulance crews
Daily Herald (01/04/2014)
[Editor's note: Find more information and read Illinois's Public Act 098-0608.]
- Kentucky: State with highest smoking rates in U.S. favors proposed smoking ban lawStatewide public smoking ban favored by two-thirds of Kentuckians in poll
Courier-Journal (01/02/2014) Laura Ungar
- New Mexico: Prescribing fatal drug doses to terminally ill patients caseNew Mexicans advocate for more end of life choices
Albuquerque Journal (01/06/2014) Elaine Tassy
- Ohio: Judges to report ordering mental-health evaluations for violent offendersOhio courts now required to report certain mental health information to law enforcement
The Blade (01/05/2014)
[Editor's note: Find more information and read Ohio's Deputy Suzanne Hopper Act.]
- Washington: Emergency contraceptive case on hold pending Supreme Court decisionLegal fight over emergency contraceptives drags on
The Olympian (01/05/2014)
- Wisconsin: Bill would exempt e-cigarettes from public smoking bansSen. Glenn Grothman's bill would exempt e-cigarettes from smoking ban
Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel (01/03/2014) Patrick Marley
[Editor's note: Find more information and read Senate Bill 440.]
- National: Non-physician laser hair removal lawsuits increased by 42%Laser hair removal's risks
New York Times (01/06/2013) Roni Caryn Rabin
- National: $760 million settlement proposed in NFL retiree concussion lawsuitN.F.L. and retirees agree on details of concussion deal
New York Times (01/06/2013) Ken Belson and Alan Schwarz
- California: Court has authority to deny out patient treatment to patient-convictThe People v. Christopher
Court of Appeals of California, Fourth District, Division Two
Case No. E053885
Opinion by Justice Betty Ann Richli
- California: State medical marijuana law does not preempt local bansModiano v. City of Anaheim, Cal. [PDF 53KB]
Court of Appeals of California, Fourth District, Division Three
Case No. G048303
Opinion by Justice Richard M. Aronson
- New York: City's red light camera program supports clear government interestKreiger v. City of Rochester
Supreme Court, Monroe County
Case No. 13/06121
Opinion by Judge J. Scott Odorisi
- Ohio: Lead contamination records which are not medical records must be releasedBd. Of Health of Cuyahoga County v. Lipson O'Shea Legal Group
Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga County
Case No. 99832
Opinion by Judge Larry A Jones, Sr.
- Washington: Hospice provider met need requirements for permitHospice of Spokane v. Washington State Department of Health
Court of Appeals of Washington, Division Three
Case No. 3116-3-III
Opinion by Justice Teresa C. Kulik
"Unfortunately, the public often focuses on mental illness only when high-visibility tragedies of the magnitude of Tucson or Virginia Tech occur. However, less visible tragedies take place every day in our communities—suicides, homelessness, arrests, incarceration, school dropouts, and more," wrote the Nation Alliance on Mental Illness in its 2011 report, State Mental Health Cuts, A National Crisis.
About Public Health Law News
The 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 Public Health Law Program in the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support.