Evidence Library

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Congenital heart defects cause nearly one-quarter of deaths due to birth defects in infants. Nearly 5,000 babies are born each year with seven specific Critical Congenital Heart Defects or Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD). There is a low-cost, non-invasive screening procedure, called pulse oximetry, that is effective in detecting CCHD. By making this screening mandatory, CCHD could be detected early and follow-ups could be done to improve health.

 
Stephen Teret, J.D., M.P.H. •
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Lainie Rutkow, JD, PhD •
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

The Attorneys General of the 50 states have considerable legal authority to protect the public’s health, yet their role in the development of health policy is often under-appreciated or misunderstood. This article analyses state Attorneys’ General current powers and provides a logic model that illustrates how the use of these powers can lead to the protection and promotion of the public’s health. The article then provides four brief case studies, to demonstrate how state Attorneys General have used their varied powers to influence policy-making and benefit the public’s health.

 
John Petrila, JD, LLM •
University of Southern Florida
Jeffrey Swanson, PhD •
Duke University, PHLR Methods Core

Mental illness is a significant global public health issue. Disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression put an enormous strain on afflicted individuals, their caregivers and communities. Yet in some respects, acceptance of mental illness as a key part of the broader field of public health has developed only recently. What is the emerging role of law and policy in addressing the complex problems around mental illness from a public health perspective, and what is the agenda for research to inform those efforts?

 
Corey Davis, JD, MSPH •
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Prescription drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death. In his Critical Opportunities presentation, Corey Davis, JD, staff attorney at the Network for Public Health Law, suggests that easier access to opioid overdose reversal drugs like naloxone could help prevent overdose deaths.

 
Allison Curry, PhD, MPH •
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

New Jersey is the first state in the United States to require novice drivers to put a red reflective decal on their license plate as part of their graduated driver’s license law. The decals signal the young driver’s probationary status to other drivers and law enforcement. A study by Allison Curry, PhD, MPH and her colleagues at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found that New Jersey’s law has prevented more than 1,600 crashes and helped police officers enforce regulations unique to new drivers.

 

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