We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Health Law and Ethics |

The Model State Emergency Health Powers Act Planning for and Response to Bioterrorism and Naturally Occurring Infectious Diseases

Lawrence O. Gostin, JD; Jason W. Sapsin, JD; Stephen P. Teret, JD, MPH; Scott Burris, JD; Julie Samia Mair, JD, MPH; James G. Hodge, Jr, JD, LLM; Jon S. Vernick, JD, MPH
JAMA. 2002;288(5):622-628. doi:10.1001/jama.288.5.622.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

The Center for Law and the Public's Health at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities drafted the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MSEHPA or Model Act) at the request of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Model Act provides state actors with the powers they need to detect and contain bioterrorism or a naturally occurring disease outbreak. Legislative bills based on the MSEHPA have been introduced in 34 states. Problems of obsolescence, inconsistency, and inadequacy may render current state laws ineffective or even counterproductive. State laws often date back to the early 20th century and have been built up in layers over the years. They frequently predate the vast changes in the public health sciences and constitutional law.

The Model Act is structured to reflect 5 basic public health functions to be facilitated by law: (1) preparedness, comprehensive planning for a public health emergency; (2) surveillance, measures to detect and track public health emergencies; (3) management of property, ensuring adequate availability of vaccines, pharmaceuticals, and hospitals, as well as providing power to abate hazards to the public's health; (4) protection of persons, powers to compel vaccination, testing, treatment, isolation, and quarantine when clearly necessary; and (5) communication, providing clear and authoritative information to the public. The Model Act also contains a modernized, extensive set of principles and requirements to safeguard personal rights. Law can be a tool to improve public health preparedness. A constitutional democracy must balance the common good with respect for personal dignity, toleration of groups, and adherence to principles of justice.

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

98 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections