Our public health system is primarily concerned with the promotion of health and the prevention of disease. But while everyone may agree with these goals in principle, in practice public health is a highly contentious policy arena that is inevitably entangled with sensitive issues ranging from occupational safety and environmental hazards to health education, immunization, and treatment of addiction and sexually transmitted disease. Today however, concern for protecting the population against bio-terrorism and "new" epidemics such as SARS is tipping the balance back toward increased interest in public health. This book focuses on the politics, policies, and methodologies of public health and the twenty-first century challenges to the public health system of the United States. It explores the system's relatively weak position in the American political culture, medical establishment, and legal system; scientific and privacy issues in public health; and the challenges posed by ecological risk and the looming threat of bio-terrorism. The book includes a chronology of major laws and events in public health policy along with an extensive bibliography.
Foreword, Deborah R. McFarlane; 1. The Politics of Public Health in the United States; 2. Leadership, Politics, and Public Health; 3. The Politics of Public Health and Private Medicine; 4. The Politics of Public Health and Law; 5. The Politics of Science and Public Health; 6. The Politics of Genetics and Public Health; 7. The Politics of Environment and Public Health; 8. The Politics of Bioterrorism and Public Health; 9. Conclusion