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date: 27 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on key characteristics of U.S. communicable disease control law. It describes federal and state powers, reviews the relative roles of voluntary and coercive public health programs, and describes the scope and limitations of the police power. Next, it examines specific legal provisions particularly relevant to communicable disease control and explores two emerging issues: how to successfully craft legal and policy measures to reduce the negative impact of antibiotic resistance and expanded use of public health surveillance data. The chapter concludes with three ongoing dilemmas that require both technical solutions and thoughtful debate, how to: 1) balance individual rights and effective disease control when using isolation and quarantine; 2) develop legal and policy tools that will incentivize development of novel antibiotics; and 3) assess the benefits and risks of utilizing the explosion of personal data that advances in medicine, public health, and technology have made available.

Keywords: antibacterial agents, communicable disease law, drug resistance, public health, surveillance

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