Global Health Security and the Law
12 PM EDT
Gaps in the essential legal infrastructure hampered efforts to deal with the Ebola, MERS, SARS and anthrax incidents by making it difficult to quarantine infected or suspected individual patients or prescribe unapproved treatments among other challenges such as coordination of response. In response and in collaboration with a wide range of national governments and international organizations, the U.S. government launched the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), identifying global health security as an international priority and to spur progress to full implementation of the WHO International Health Regulations and other disease frameworks such as that of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The Agenda objectives and targets are organized around the subjects of prevention, detection and response. To accomplish these, the law in countries around the world is critical to success and accelerating progress to build resilient national systems to detect, prevent and respond to infectious disease threats.
The public’s health is optimally protected by an interconnected system of human, animal and plant health authorities, law enforcement, police and those authorities concerned with radiological and chemical events. Historically, effort has been focused intensively on the sciences and public health practices of epidemiology, among others rather than on the enabling legislation that empowers and directs governments to prevent, detect, and respond to epidemics and to mandate private sector actors to take relevant actions such as disease reporting. Even where there is enabling legislation, much of it is antiquated and unfit for contemporary public health threats and the speed and nature of infectious diseases that cross borders.
So what are the elements that comprise the necessary legal framework (and potentially the “best practices”) to support the GHSA objectives and targets? The session will explore the scope, types of laws and elements of the legal framework for GHSA by sharing case studies and country law examples.
- Introduction of the Global health Security Agenda
- Overview of the Law and the Global Health Security Agenda
- Case studies and law examples on the objectives and targets of prevention, detection and response.
Moderator: Warren Burke, Assistant Counsel, Office of the Legislative Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives
- Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, US State Dept.
- Michele Forzley, Office of Forzley & Associates