What is Public Health Law?
By Staff Writer

Public Health Law focuses on the legal practice and authority related to public health policy and advocacy. The general goal of Public Health Law is to improve the health of the population by using effective deterrents and punishment. Some of the most effective government efforts in Public Health Law have related to motor vehicle safety, immunization rates, and dental hygiene.

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To practice law, a candidate must graduate from law school and get a license. Then, an attorney can be certified in Public Health. Alternatively, you can pursue a joint degree for Public Health Law, culminating in a J.D. and Master of Public Health (M.P.H.). A combination of multi-faceted credentials contributes to enhanced career opportunities, even though such a diverse and deep academic edge is not typically required by employers. A wide range of courses are available to those candidates who are interested in fields of Public Health and Human Justice.

Why is Public Health Law Important?

Public Health Law is important because it works. The basic tenets are to encourage healthy practices and discourage risky or unhealthy activities. A common path for Public Health professions is related to Advocacy and Human Justice, particularly in Environmental Law, Health Law, Insurance Law, and Elder Law. It’s important to support and protect those who are not able to do so for themselves, but also to roll out educational and law-based efforts to prevent future risk, danger and wholesale negative Public Health effects.

What is the Public Health Law Center?

The Public Health Law Center takes the stance that it’s the right of every individual to be healthy. To that end, the Public Health Center pursues a multi-faceted approach to public health, including:

  • Working to reduce and eliminate the use of commercial tobacco.
  • Promoting the growth and distribution of healthy food.
  • Supporting physical activity.
  • Addressing other causes of chronic disease.

The mission of the organization is to achieve greater public health goals through the use of public policy and law.

What is the Network for Public Health Law?

The Network for Public Health Law focuses on identifying and addressing laws and policies that are discriminatory and that lead to disadvantage in community health. The Network for Public Health Law addresses public health law and justice by focusing on the public’s access to health care, ways to avoid and protect against discriminatory practices, how to safeguard the public against health injuries and risks and ways to strengthen health agencies.

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What are Examples of Public Health Laws?

Law enforces public health in a myriad of ways including advancing public policy, protecting public health, regulating health operations, overseeing and controlling the training, supporting safety and efficiency and address risk factors. Examples of Public Health Laws include goals around Childhood Immunization, Motor Vehicle Safety, Prescription Drug Overdoses and Workplace Safety.

All of these Public Health issues have involved in-depth policy development, which are designed and proven to protect and provide a healthier life for adults and children.

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What is the Function of Law in Public Health?

In general, the public health system protects and promotes health interests through programs and campaigns as well as regulations. Public health law can implement a number of strategic procedures to protect the public and health, including:

  • Reducing risks by quarantining potential risk factors
  • Closing public buildings, schools or government facilities to protect against communicable diseases
  • Controlling events to protect against public health impact
  • Licensing health practitioners
  • Requiring vaccinations for healthcare workers and minors

Ultimately, if you’re wondering what is the function of law in public health, public health law is designed to regulate rules and vaccinations, prevent disease, and control events and activities.

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