Legal Responses to Health Emergencies

Conducted in February of 2015, The Global Legal Research Center from the Law Library of Congress published a European Union World Health Organization [WHO] study regarding the Legal Responses to Health Emergencies in 23 different countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, England, France, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Portugal, Russian Federation, Senegal, South Korea, Spain, and Sweden). These countries all recognized that there is, “…a threat to public health from a variety of infectious diseases, mass illnesses resulting from technological catastrophes or the malicious distribution of viruses, and the potential use of chemical and biological weapons by terrorists.”

Regarding the WHO – this organization plays a, “…critical role in confronting health crises” by administering assistance to national governments as well as the medical facilities that support the advancement of, “…health, prevent and control health problems, control or eradicate diseases, and strengthen national health systems.”

The surveys that were distributed were, “government structures tasked with delivering public health protection, relevant legislative frameworks for addressing health emergencies, and the powers of government institutions in times of health crises and their ability to mitigate the consequences of such crises.”

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