NY State Emergency Health Powers
While there is general agreement that much needs to be done
to "fight terrorism" and protect the public, the
actions taken and proposed by the U.S. government are not
without controversy among experts and citizens.
See our Emergency Health Powers Act
page for info on this unfolding story
Excerpts from "States Weighing Laws To Fight Bioterrorism"
By Justin Gillis,
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 19, 2001; Page A01
Spurred by fears of bioterrorism, state legislators across the country are pushing new laws that would permit large-scale quarantine, forcible seizure of hospitals and other businesses, mandatory vaccination or treatment, and destruction of contaminated property without the owners' consent.
The state lawmakers are basing their efforts on a model law drawn up in Washington and backed by the Bush administration. As preparation for an attack using smallpox or other germ weapons, the lawmakers want to replace existing public-health statutes with a sweeping, detailed enumeration of state emergency powers
The law is already encountering opposition, however. Some people say it would substitute a complicated, dangerous new scheme for older state health laws that, while sometimes vague, at least had the virtue of simplicity.
"When you actually look at the state public-health laws, they aren't bad," said Edward Richards, head of the Center for Public Health Law at the University of Missouri Kansas City. "One size just doesn't fit all. Each state needs to look at its own laws to figure out what needs to be fixed."
Go to State Emergency Health Powers Act
You can sign the petition to defeat the Emergency Health Powers Act now.