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Legal Advisors for Medical Response to Mass Casualty Incident

General Comments

  • Legal issues for medical planning and response to a mass casualty radiation incident will vary with
    • Nature, severity, cause, and location of the radiation incident
    • Agency through which the responder is operating and its own rules and regulations
    • Professional capacity of the responder
    • Training and certification of the responder
    • Normal scope of practice of the responder
    • "Normal" or "altered standard of care" (e.g. Crisis) existing during the response where the responder is working
    • Activity performed or not performed
  • Medical practice, standards of care, and liability issues are complex and each practitioner should consult with experts in his/her venue and organization to obtain the best and most current advice.
  • Inclusion of references on this page does not constitute official US government or HHS endorsement.
  • Overview of federal and state laws for all-hazards mass casualty incidents (HHS/CDC)

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Assessment of State and Local Laws Regarding Management of Persons During Radiation Incidents

  • Public Health Preparedness: Examination of Legal Language Authorizing Responses to Incidents Involving Contamination with Radioactive Material (PDF - 670 KB) (HHS/CDC/RSB and CDC/ATSDR; CDC/Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support; Legal Preparendess Project: collaboration between CDC and NACCHO), May 2014)
    • Designed to answer 2 questions: Do states and select jurisdictions...
      • "Possess the authority to decontaminate persons contaminated with radioactive material?"
      • "Have the authority to restrict the movement of persons contaminated with radioactive material? (e.g. quarantine)?"
    • Goals
      • "Identify and categorize the current landscape of laws that may be available to decontaminate and restrict personal movement of persons contaminated or potentially contaminated with radioactivity"
      • "Foster collaboration among stakeholders to enhance preparedness and response"
    • Conducted a legal assessment of all fifty states, New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.
      • Text, maps and tables show comparisons among these jurisdictions

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Emergency Declaration Authorities Across all States and DC

  • Links to legal authorizations for each of the 50 states and DC (The Network for Public Health Law)
    • Table provides state statutory and regulatory authorities for emergency declarations in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia including
      • Emergency declarations, public health emergency declarations, and other types of declarations that may relate to the public's health.

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US Department of Health & Human Services     
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response National Library of Medicine