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Compulsory Personal Health Measure Legislation: An Analysis and Commentary

Nathan Hershey
Public Health Reports (1896-1970)
Vol. 84, No. 4 (Apr., 1969), pp. 341-352
DOI: 10.2307/4593557
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4593557
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Compulsory Personal Health Measure Legislation: An Analysis and Commentary
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Abstract

All States by law require health measures of some kind. Legislation requiring compulsory health measures is enacted by States as an exercise of the police power. Such measures interfere with the completely free exercise of choice by the individuals subject to them. In a review of a limited area of this kind of legislation, personal health measures pertaining to children of four States, the legislation of each of the four States was compared with the comparable legislation of the other States. Each item of each State's compulsory personal health measure legislation was also compared with other items of legislation in the State to determine the consistency of approach within each of the four States on specific matters such as exemptions from the measures based on religious beliefs and upon whom the duty of compliance is placed. The study revealed varying approaches with regard to a particular health measure from State to State, as well as variety within a single State in the way in which certain isues are dealt with. Some of the differences may not be based upon conscious determinations that different approaches or methods are desirable, but rather they are the result of insufficient attention to the establishment of a program and to the drafting of the legislation concerning it.

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