Bioterrorism, Public Health and the Law 
Law 801: Health Care Law Seminar
Professor Vernellia R. Randall

Bioterrorism Public Health and the Law


Lesson Schedule
00: Intro to the Course
01: Intro to the Problem
02: Public Health System
03: Real Threat?
04: Public Health Law
05: Disease-Reporting
06: Quarantine
07: Model Act
08: Military Presence
09: Health Law Revisited
Bioterrorism was not a great societal concern for the U.S. before the Gulf War and through 1995. We were aware of the threat, but nothing had occurred to make us take special precautionary actions. Three events triggered the change in our countryís outlook toward bioterrorism:
bulletAum Shinrikyo. Sarin gas kills 12, injures 5500. An apocalyptic cult tried to aerosolize anthrax throughout Tokyo, but they used an inappropriate strain. This cult is still in existence today, with a lot of money and an interest in killing a lot of people.
bulletSoviet Union. Defector Ken Alibek details the elaborate research on biological toxins that had begun during the Cold War era. Over 50,000 people were employed in over 50 labs, working to weaponize and develop antibiotic-resistant plague or strains of anthrax. We have no access to what is going on in such research on the military side, but civilian labs are still active today. Libya, Iran and Iraq are recruiting many of these scientists.
bulletIraq. In 1995 Husseinís son-in-law defected and surprised us with more biological weapons information about Iraq than we had expected. A huge amount of anthrax had been weaponized and placed in planes. Rolf Ekeus in 1996 claimed that the world was facing a catastrophic situation that was "unique in the history of mankind." 

All of this knowledge led President Clinton to sign a decision directive in 1995, marking the official beginning of our countryís effort to develop plans for a response to biological terrorism.

We will explore public health law by examining an issue of overwhelming interest since Sept. 11, 2001: Bioterrorism.

This course will be organized as followed:

bulletOverview of the Public Health System
bulletIs Bioterrorism a Real Threat?
bulletPublic Health Law and Bioterrorism
bulletThe Concept and Application of Police Power to Protect Public Health
bulletConstitutional and Statutory Limits on the Exercise of Police Power to Protect Public Health
bulletFederal Authority to Exercise Military Presence to Protect Public Health
bulletPublic Health Law and Bioterrorism - Revisited
bulletPaper Reports


Related Pages:
Subsequent Pages:
[ Home ] Syllabus ] Introduction to the Course ] Introduction to the Problem ] Public Health System ] Is Bioterrorism a Real Threat? ] Public Health Law and Bioterrorism ] Disease Reporting and Police Powers ] Quarantine and Police Powers ] Model State Public Health Law ] Military Presence and Public Health ] Public Health Law - Revisited ]
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