Public health law and tuberculosis control in Europe.


Coker, RJ; Mounier-Jack, S; Martin, R; (2007) Public health law and tuberculosis control in Europe. Public health, 121 (4). pp. 266-73. ISSN 0033-3506 DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2006.11.003

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis control is an important public health challenge in many European countries. Law is an important tool that policy-makers can draw upon to support control efforts and, according to the World Health Organization, represents a tangible expression of political commitment and will. Despite this, little national research, and even less cross-national comparative research, has been conducted to describe and analyse legislative approaches to tuberculosis control. METHODS: We conducted a survey of 14 European countries to identify, describe, map and analyse legislative tools used to support tuberculosis control. RESULTS: We found a wide range of legislative models. Legal measures available to nation states, such as compulsory examination, compulsory screening, compulsory detention, compulsory treatment and compulsory vaccination, vary widely in both scope and number. We identified a typology of legal frameworks, from the most authoritarian to the least restrictive. It seems likely that the application of some laws might not withstand scrutiny under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. CONCLUSIONS: Harmonization of legislative response to infectious diseases, based upon sound evidence, may be necessary if collaborative efforts in support of infectious disease control, as envisaged in the new International Health Regulations, are to be most effective and are to reflect more appropriately a globalized 21st century world.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
PubMed ID: 17280692
Web of Science ID: 245798900005
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/10394

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