Faculty & Scholarship

  • Print
  • Share
  • Questions

Problem Group Two

Participants contributing to this problem:
Bill Banks, Bill Bartrand, John Culhane, Ruth Jones, Jack Willoughby

A Bioterrorism law course might require a background in other law courses such as: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, etc.

The class, however, should not focus too much on these background materials.

Another way to address this problem is to have prerequisites to entering into the course.

         
General elements in the problem
  1. Leave ambiguous whether the agent is natural or a terrorist agent.
2. Use the materials and resources that people in the real world would have.
3. Assign students to role play different parts in an evolving problem.
         
Problems:
 
1. Develop the problem over the course of the class ? an evolving problem
    a. Over the course of the semester, discrete problems are introduced to the class.
b. Terrorism laws and other legislation are provided to the class and students are asked to analyze the legislation.
c. Dangerous Prisoner Problem
  2. Problems for discrete legal areas
    a. Planning
      i. Example ? chickenpox
ii. State guidelines or plan
iii. Who are the actors? What do they do?
iv. What happens when people come together for a false alarm? Will they come back a second time?
    b. Problem 2 ? Anthrax in Florida ? based on factual scenarios
      i. What happens when an investigation is underway, and it is discovered that the act was intentional?
    c. Problems of immunization ? swine flu would be a valuable case study
      i. Childhood immunization/vaccination
ii. Separate compensation fund or use the existing fund?
iii. Would religious exemptions in statutory law be viable in bioterrorism cases?
iv. Social risks of having an unvaccinated population?
v. CDC guideline inconsistencies
    d. Law Enforcement Issues
      i. Local sheriff does not want to allow FBI into a crime scene.
    e. Criminal Law issues
      i. Preventative detention ? taking non?US citizens into custody and refusing them legal representation.
ii. Criminal searches for the purpose of discovering criminal activity vs. Administrative searches for public health purposes.
        1. Benefits and drawbacks from these searches.
      iii. Privacy
iv. Religious issues
    f. Judicial Issues (Judges)
      i. Facts: Health officials want to immunize 7th Day Adventists. State law creates a religious exception to immunization.
        1. Unless there are lawyers, who are familiar with appearing in court and court procedures, a problem arises because emergency action is frequently denied on procedural grounds
      ii. A new statute, written for the purpose of dealing with bioterrorism, may be constitutionally vague or overbroad because it was written to cover a variety of problems.
    g. Model State Health Powers Act
      i. The Act should not be used in a class.
Ii There is no need to have a special public health law because it creates conflicting lines of authority.
    h. Torts
      i. A state/federal immunity issue. A State tort claims question. A federal tort claims question and discretionary authority.
Ii Facts: Government has taken over hospital. Six weeks later the problem has been resolved but now the hospital is bankrupt. Some children who did not receive vaccinations because of religious exemptions are now suing because they became sick.
Iii Property claims
        1. Public Health Takings issues
    i. Clean?up issues
      i. What has the government done to address the problem after the fact? ii. Discussions have failed to bring up the "what happens after" the outbreak issues. The evolving problem should then turn to who is going to be sued; how is the situation going to be cleaned up; etc.
iii. How does the government decide to spend money to deal with the problem?