The Model State Emergency Health Powers Act
as of October 23, 2001
The Center for Law and the Public's Health
Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention In Collaboration with the:
Conference of State Legislatures,
of State and Territorial Health Officials, National Association of City and
and National Association of Attorneys General
I have before me, as I write, a complete copy of the 38-page, 81/2 x 11
Model State Emergency Health Powers Act. It was sent to me by a friend. Due to
its importance, I am typesetting some of the information contained Within it.
But I also provide it in view of the fact that, according to Great Controversy,
a final crisis over the Sabbath is looming, will begin in the United States, and
could involve a health threat as one reason for the emergency powers to be
granted at that time, to deal With insubordinate citizens.
What would be required for any State legislature to enact this Health
Powers Act? Simply wave the set of papers before the eyes of frightened
legislators and ask them to enact it, so it can be quickly sent to the
governor's desk for signing into law. It may already have been quietly enacted
in many states. Many of the provisions are understandable; others appear to violate
personal property, movement, and health rights.
Preamble: "Emergency health
threats, including those caused by bio-terrorism and epidemics, require the
exercise of extraordinary government functions. Because each state is
responsible for safeguarding the health, security, and well-being of its people,
State governments must be able to respond, rapidly and effectively, to
potential or actual public health emergences. The Model State Emergency Health
Powers Act (the 'Act') therefore grants specific emergency powers to State
governors and public health authorities" (pg 6).
"The Act authorizes the collection of data and records, the control
of property, the management of persons, and access to communications" (p.
"Public health laws and our courts have traditionally balanced the common good with individual civil liberties. . The Act strikes such a balance. It provides State officials with the ability to prevent, detect, manage, and contain emergency health threats without unduly interfering with civil rights and liberties" (pp. 67).
"Section 103. Purposes. The purposes of this Act are- (a) To authorize the collection of data
and records, the control of property, the management of persons, and access to
communications. (b) To facilitate the early detection of a health emergency and
allow for immediate investigation of such an emergency by granting access to
individuals' health information under specified circumstances. (c) To grant
State officials the authority to use and appropriate property as necessary for
the care, treatment and housing of patients, and for the destruction of
contaminated materials. (d) To grant State officials the authority to provide
care and treatment to persons who are ill or who have been exposed to
infection" (p. 9).
"Section 201. Reporting
illness or health condition. A health care provider, coroner, or medical
examiner shall report all cases of persons who harbor any illness or health
condition that may be caused by bio-terrorism, epidemic or pandemic disease, or
novel and highly fatal infectious agents or biological toxins"(p. 12)
"Pharmacists. A pharmacist shall report any unusual or
increased prescription rates, unusual types of prescriptions, or unusual trends
in pharmacy visits" (p. 12).
"Manner of reporting. The report shall be made in writing
within twenty-four hours to the public health authority" (p. 12).
"Section 303. Emergency powers. During a State of public
health emergency, the governor may (1) Suspend the provisions of any
regulatory statute prescribing procedures for conducting State business or the
orders, rules, and regulations of any State agency. . (2) Utilize all available
resources of the State government and its political subdivisions, as
reasonably necessary to respond to the public health emergency. . (4) Mobilize
all or any part of the organized militia [police, national guard, etc.] into
service of the State" (p. 17).
"Coordination. The public
health authority shall coordinate all matters pertaining to the public health
emergency response of the State. . [including] collaborating With relevant
federal government authorities, elected officials of other states, private
organizations-, or private sector companies" (p. 17).
"Access to and control of facilities and property-generally. The public health authority may exercise, for such
period as the state of public health emergency exists, the following powers
concerning facilities, materials, roads, or public areas
"(a) Use of facilities. To procure, by condemnation or otherwise, construct, lease, transport,
store, maintain, renovate, or distribute materials and facilities as may be
reasonable and necessary for emergency response, with the right to take
immediate possession thereof. Such materials and facilities include, but are not
limited to, communication devices, carriers, real estate, fuels, food, clothing,
and health care facilities.
"Section 402. Access to and control of facilities and
property-generally. (b) Use of health care facilities. To compel a
health care facility to provide services or the use of its facility if such
services or use are reasonable and necessary to emergency response. The use of
the health care facility may include, transferring the management and
supervision of the health care facility to the public health authority for a
limited or unlimited period of time" (p. 20).
"(c) Control of materials. To control, restrict, and regulate by rationing and using quotas,
prohibitions on shipments, price fixing, allocation or other means, the use,
sale, dispensing, distribution, or transportation of food, fuel, clothing and
other commodities, alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, and combustibles,
as may be reasonable and necessary for emergency response.
"(d) Control of roads and public areas. (1) To prescribe routes, modes of transportation, and destinations in
connection with evacuation of persons or the provision of emergency services.
(2) To control ingress and egress (entrance and exit] to and from any stricken
or threatened public area, the movement of persons within the area, and the
occupancy of premises therein" (p. 21).
"Safe disposal of infectious waste. . (b) Control of facilities. To compel any business or facility authorized to
collect. . infectious waste. . to accept infectious waste, or provide
"(c) Use of facilities. To procure, by condemnation or otherwise, any business or facility
authorized to collect. . infectious waste. . with the right to take immediate
possession thereof" (pp. 21-22).
"Section 404. Safe disposal of corpses. . (b) Possession. To take possession or control of any corpse . .
(c) Control of facilities. To compel any business or facility authorized to embalm, bury, cremate. . to accept any corpse or provide the use of its business or facility" (p. 22).
"Control of health care supplies. . (b) Rationing . . In making rationing or other supply and distribution
decisions, the public health authority may give preference to health care
providers, disaster response personnel, and mortuary staff" (p. 23).
"Section 406. Compensation. The State shall pay just
compensation to the owner of any facilities or materials that are lawfully
taken or appropriated. . Compensation shall not be provided for facilities or
materials that are closed, evacuated, decontaminated, or destroyed when there
is reasonable cause to believe that they may endanger the public health"
"Section 501. Control of individuals. During a state of
public health emergency, the public health authority shall use every available
means to prevent the transmission of infectious disease and to ensure that all
cases of infectious disease are subject to proper control and treatment.
"In Section 501, the text immediately following the heading 'Control of individuals' was adapted from California Health & Safety Code 120575 (West 1996).
"Section 502. Mandatory medical examinations.
The public health authority may exercise, for such period as the state
of public health emergency exists, the following emergency powers over persons
"(1) Individual examination or testing. To compel a person to
submit to a physical examination and/or testing as necessary to diagnose or treat
the person [underlining mine] . .
"(3) The medical examination and/or testing shall be performed immediately upon the order of the public health authority without resort to judicial or quasi-judicial authority.
"(4) Any person refusing to submit to the medical examination and/or testing is liable for a misdemeanor . . The public health authority may subject the individual to isolation or quarantine as provided in this Article" (p. 26).
"Section 503. Isolation and quarantine. . (c) Due process. .
(2) The public health authority may isolate or quarantine, a person without
first obtaining a written ex parte order from the court if any delay in the
isolation or quarantine of the person would pose an immediate threat to the
public health" (p. 27).
'Section 504. Vaccination and treatment. The public health
authority may exercise, for such period as the state of public health emergency
exists, the following emergency powers over persons
"(1) In general. To compel a person to be vaccinated and/or
treated for an infectious disease [underlining mine]" (p. 28).
"Section 702. Public Health Emergency Plan. (a) Content. The
Commission shall, within six months of its appointment, deliver to the governor
a plan for responding to a public health emergency, that includes provisions
for the following. . "(17) Other measures necessary to carry out the
purposes of this Act" (p. 35). "Section 802.
Rules and regulations. The
public health authority is authorized to promulgate and implement such rules
and regulations as are reasonable and necessary to implement and effectuate the
provisions of this Act. The public health authority shall have the power to
enforce the provisions of this Act through the imposition of fines and
penalties, the issuance of orders, and such or remedies as are provided by
law" (p. 36).
"Section 804. Liability. . Neither the State, its political
subdivisions, nor, except in cases of gross negligence or willful misconduct,
the governor, the health authority, or any other State official referenced in
this Act, is liable for the death of or any injury to persons, or damage to
property, as the result of complying with or attempting to comply with this Act,
or any rule or regulations promulgated pursuant to this Act. (b) Private
liability. . [refers to protection from liability for any individual, firm,
etc., who obeys State orders in such matters]" (pp. 37-38).