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Law in Public Health Practice$
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Richard A. Goodman, Richard E. Hoffman, Wilfredo Lopez, Gene W. Matthews, Mark Rothstein, and Karen Foster

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195301489

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195301489.001.0001

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The Structure of Law in Public Health Systems and Practice

The Structure of Law in Public Health Systems and Practice

(p.45) Chapter 2 The Structure of Law in Public Health Systems and Practice
Law in Public Health Practice

Richard A. Goodman

Paula L. Kocher

Daniel J. O’Brien

Frank S. Alexander

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the structure of law underlying U.S. public health practice by focusing on the statutory basis of the federal and state/local infrastructure of the U.S. public health system, including the creation of federal agencies having public health or related responsibilities and powers under the U.S. Constitution and, similarly, state and local agencies with public health roles, responsibilities, and powers. It describes the structure of law and the statutory basis of public health systems and practice in two main sections. The first of these sections examines the statutory basis of public health practice at the federal level. The second section explores this for state-level public health systems and practice. These sections also implicate certain key foundational legal concepts, including federalism and preemption, that are highly relevant to understanding the interplay between legislative enactments and public health practice at all levels.

Keywords:   law, public health practice, public health system, United States, federalism, preemption

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