Public health law

Public health law examines the authority of the government at various jurisdictional levels to improve the health of the general population within societal limits and norms.[1] Public health law focuses on the duties of the government to achieve these goals, limits on that power, and the population perspective.[1]

Public health law also focuses on legal issues in public health practice and on the public health effects of legal practice.

Police powerEdit

Police power can be defined as the inherent power of a government to exercise reasonable control over persons and property within its jurisdiction in the interest of the general security, health, safety, morals, and welfare except where legally prohibited. These areas perpetuate are employed by governmental agencies. Bioterrorism is a growing focus of this practice area in some jurisdictions; for example, public health lawyers in the United States have worked in the creation of the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act and the Model State Public Health Act.

Disease and injury preventionEdit

This broader area of public health law applies legal tools to public health problems associated with disease and injury. Practitioners apply legislation, regulation, litigation (private enforcement), and international law to public health problems using the law as an instrument of public health. Litigation against tobacco companies in the United States provides an excellent example.


  1. ^ a b Ogalthorpe), Gostin, Lawrence O. (Lawrence (2016-02-02). Public health law : power, duty, restraint. Wiley, Lindsay F., 1977- (Third ed.). Oakland, California. ISBN 9780520958586. OCLC 910309614.

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