Model Act

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Status Brief

Developmental Milestones/Developments to Date:

Current Assessment/State of the Field:




Krisin Choo.  “A Plague in the Making.”  ABA Journal, (1999).

Law, Smallpox, Model Act


Thomas B, Cole.  “When a Bioweapon Strikes, Who Will Be in Charge?JAMA 284.8(2000)944-8.

Model Act


Martin I. Meltzer, et al.Modeling Potential Responses to Smallpox as a Bioterrorist Weapon.”  Emerging Infectious Diseases, 7.6(2001)959-969.

  1. From abstract: “We constructed a mathematical model to describe the spread of smallpox after a deliberate release of the virus.”

Vaccination, Smallpox, Model Act


Hodge, James, “Bioterrorism Law and Policy: Critical Choices in Public HealthJournal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 2002.

  1. “However, in many states, existing legal standards for response are absent, antiquated, or insufficient. Prior to September 11, many state health departments did not address bioterrorism in their emergency response plans.’^ Recently, public health lawyers and scholars at the Center for Law and the Public’s Health at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities were asked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a series of national partners (i.e., the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the National Association of City and County Health Officers, the National Association of Attorneys General, and the Turning Point Public Health Statute Modernization National Collaborative) to develop a model act for states to respond to public health emergencies.” (Pg. 1-2)
  2. “gives state and local public health authorities a modern series of powers to track, prevent, and disease threats resulting from bioterrorism or other public health emergencies. These powers include measures (e.g., isolation, quarantine, treatment, and vaccination requirements) that may temporarily compromise individual civil liberties (e.g., rights to due process, speech, assembly, travel, and privacy) to protect the public’s health. To date, thirty-two states have introduced legislative bills based on the Model Act.” (Pg. 2)
  3. “Bioterrorists may infect individuals through multiple routes: (1) intentional spread of contagious diseases through individual contact; (2) airborne dissemination of some infectious agents; or (3) contamination of water, food, controlled substances, or other widely distributed products. The equipment needed to manufacture biological weapons is easy to obtain and conceal.” (Pg. 3)
  4. “The Model Act broadly defines a “public health emergency” as: an occurrence or imminent threat of an illness or health condition that: (1) is believed to be caused by bioterrorism or the appearance of a novel or previously controlled or eradicated infectious agent or biological toxin; and (2) poses a high probability of any of the following harms: (a) a large number of deaths in the affected population; (b) a large number of incidents of serious permanent or long term disability in the affected population; or (c) widespread exposure to an infectious or toxic agent that poses a significant risk of substantial future harm to a large number of people in the affected population.”  (Pg. 3-4)
  5. “First, the federal government has greater financial resources at its disposal to respond to a bioterrorism threat. Second, it may be in a better position to negotiate the price of needed vaccines, drugs, or supplies, or to suspend the patent rights of high-demand medications. These techniques were recently used by President George Bush and DHHS in negotiations with the German drug company Bayer, concerning the sale of Cipro, the antibiotic used to treat anthrax. Third, most significant bioterrorism threats will exceed the boundaries of any single state, thus requiring a national, coordinated response.” (Pg. 5)

Bioterrorism, Public Health, Emergency Response, Model Act, CDC, Anthrax


E. Nulens and A. Voss.  “Laboratory diagnosis and biosafety issues of biological warfare agents.”  Clin Microbiol Infect, 8(2002)455-466.

  1. “Bioterrorism events have been rare until recently.  Many clinical laboratories may not be familiar with handling specimens from a possible bioterrorism attack.  Therefore, they should be aware of their own responsibilities and limitations in the handling and treatment of such specimens, and what to do if they are requested to process clinical samples.  The CDC has developed the Laboratory Response Network to provide an organized response system for the detection and diagnosis of biological welfare agents based on laboratory testing abilities and facilities.  There are potentially many biological welfare agents, but probably a limited number of agents would be encountered in case of an attack, and their identification and laboratory safety will be discussed.”

Select Agent, Bioterrorism, Model Act, Lab Safety, Biosafety


R. Grunow and E.-J. Finke.  “A procedure for differentiating between the intentional release of biological welfare agents and natural outbreaks of disease: its uses in analyzing the tularemia outbreak in Kosovo in 1999 and 2000.”  Clin Microbiol Infect, 8(2002)510-521.

Model Act


George J. Annas.  “Blinded by Terrorism: Public Health and Liberty in the 21st Century.”  Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, 13.33(2003)

Law, Vaccination, Model Act


Lawrence O. Gostin, et al. Ethical and Legal Challenges Posed by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome: Implications for the Control of Severe Infectious Disease Threats.”  JAMA, 290.24(2003)3229-3237.

SARS, Quarantine, Model Act


George Avery. “Bioterrorism, Fear and Public Health Reform: Matching a Policy solution to the Wrong Window.”  Public Administration Review, 64.3(2004)275-288.

Law, Model Act, Bioterrorism