Issue Spotting Essay Instructions:
This week’s lecture focused on Healthcare and Public Health Law. One of the most important skills for public health administrators is legal issue-spotting; that is, identifying potential legal issues. As a public health administrator, you will need to identify potential legal issues and consult with an attorney about them. You will be analyzing a scenario and “issue spotting” – that is, identifying potential issues and providing a (brief) analysis of why they are issues.
This is an essay assignment, so please follow the writing standards provided in the course resources. The essay should be a maximum of 2 pages, excluding bibliography. You are expected to support your statements with at least three credible sources outside the course materials.
The outline of the essay should be a short introduction followed by a paragraph addressing at least two legal issues and the HIV vaccine legislation. For each issue 1) identifying what type of law might have been invoked 2) what risk the issue poses to Public Health Think-Tank or its employees. You do not need to include make any conclusions about guilt or liability. In regards to the vaccination issue, you should analyze the situation in the context of public health law.
You are an administrator at a Public Health Think-Tank (a non-governmental agency) in Michigan. You wake up on a cold February morning and find that it has snowed. As you drive into work, you pass a car that is driving erratically and as you pass you notice that the driver is on his cell phone and is simultaneously eating an Egg McMuffin sandwich. As you slow for a red light, you look in your mirror just in time to see the car you had just passed moments ago bearing down on you. After the accident, you get out and after finishing his call and his breakfast, the driver apologizes, you exchange insurance info and you are off to work.
Upon arriving at work, you notice that the parking lot has not been plowed. You glance at your watch and realize that it is 8am and that the plow company was supposed to have had the parking lot cleared of snow by 7am. As you are walking into the building, you see an elderly woman slip and fall in the parking lot. The snow was wet and did not seem slippery, but you call the ambulance and wish the woman well.
As you walk into your office, you notice one of your employees (Marge) is waiting in your office. She is upset that one of your other employees (Homer) had e-mailed the office (about 6 employees) a picture of a woman in a bikini with Marge’s head photo-shopped onto it. To your knowledge, Homer had been a model employee up to this point. You tell Marge that you will look into it. You are then interrupted by your assistant who rushes in to tell you that she had just noticed on Twitter that one of your employees (Bart) had just criticized a position paper that your organization had just published. Bart also noted on Facebook that the Think-Tank is releasing its position paper on the Governor’s new public health initiatives and that the “Governor is going to be disappointed!” You were hoping to keep this position under-wraps until you had an opportunity to meet with the Governor’s aides to explain the Think-Tank’s position. Bart is an OK employee, but tended to have different views on Public Health policy than did the organization. Finally, as you take a look at your e-mail, you see that Human Resources (HR) had e-mailed you to let you know that your top candidate for a position that you were trying to fill, Maggie, had been disqualified from consideration because Maggie would not share her Facebook password with HR so that HR could examine her Facebook page for evidence of ‘moral turpitude’ such as drinking or pictures in ‘inappropriate’ outfits. The owners of the Public Health Think-Tank only want ‘certain types of people’ working for the organization.
You finally settle down to examine a critical piece of legislation that had just been proposed in the State Legislature. A few years ago, there had been a major breakthrough in the prevention of the transmission of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The vaccination is not pleasant, but it has been shown to prevent the acquisition of the HIV virus in 89% of the cases. To obtain the vaccination, you must lay perfectly still on a table while a healthcare professional injects the vaccination directly into the cerebrospinal fluid through the back of the neck. The injection is very painful, but is a relatively quick procedure.
The State Legislature has just proposed a Bill that would mandate that all individuals receive this inoculation. However, due to the short-supply of the vaccine, there will be a phased-in approach to delivering and administering the vaccination. The first group of people who would be required to get the vaccination would be gay men.
The State Legislature has just proposed a Bill that would mandate that all individuals receive this inoculation. However, due to the short-supply of the vaccine, there will be a phased-in approach to delivering and administering the vaccination. The first group of people who would be required to get the vaccination would be gay men. The second group that would be required to get the vaccination are gay, straight and bi-sexual Hispanic men. The third group would be women who had more than 3 sexual partners within the last year. The fourth group to get the vaccination would be people who used intravenous illicit drugs at some point in their life. The fifth group to get the vaccination would be men ages 10-21. The sixth group would be women who have had 3 or fewer sexual partners within the last year. Further groups would be identified later.
People would be pre-registered for the vaccination based upon their response to a survey asking a series of questions (including, but not limited to, questions about your sexual preference, the number of sexual partners you’ve had, and any drug use you may be engaged in (or may have engaged in)). Instead of getting the vaccination, people have the option of paying a $20,000 tax. This $20,000, which is payable over three years, is to be set aside to pay for HIV treatment in the event that the person not getting the vaccination gets HIV. This tax is payable by anyone not getting the vaccination, regardless of the reason.
You need to articulate some response to this piece of legislation, and although you are not an attorney, you suspect that there may be some legal issues with this proposed law. You are meeting with your attorney tomorrow morning and you want to be able to identify and discuss these legal issues with her. Do your best to identify the potential issues associated with this piece of legislation.
Last Updated on March 25, 2018 by Essay Pro