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Books, Journals, New Media
January 9, 2002

Public Health LawPublic Health Law: Power, Duty, Restraint

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available


Copyright 2002 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2002American Medical Association


by Lawrence O. Gostin, 489 pp, paper, $24.95, ISBN 0-520-22648-8, Berkeley, University of California Press, 2001.

JAMA. 2002;287(2):246-248. doi:10.1001/jama.287.2.246-JBK0109-3-1

The terrorist attack on the World Trade Center has triggered a national debate on the appropriate balance between individual rights and public safety. Public health law has addressed this balance for more than 200 years. From AIDS and Ebola to the local deli and neighborhood dog, public health regulations touch every person and are more directly responsible for day-to-day health and safety than any other governmental function. Yet there is no private practice in public health law, no government career track for public health lawyers, no professional association for public health lawyers, and extremely limited and outdated practice materials.1 This has profound implications for public health practice. Professor Gostin's book is an attempt to give shape to contemporary public health law, and, through its agency, public health itself.

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