Revised Model State Emergency Health Powers
March 1, 2002
The Institute for Health Freedom previously
reported that the CDC and academicians have drafted
a Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MSEHPA).
The original draft (dated October 23, 2001) proposed
giving state governments broad police powers to:
A revised model act was released December 21, 2001. It
includes several major changes that would greatly expand
the power of state and local governments. Most
important, the revised version would:
- Declare public-health emergencies;
- Force individuals to undergo medical exams;
- Track and share individuals' personal health information
without their consent;
- Force individuals to be vaccinated, treated or quarantined;
- Ration food and other commodities; and
- Mobilize state militias to enforce state orders
and impose fines and penalties.
These changes would greatly diminish Americans' health
freedom--including the freedom of doctors and other health-care
providers. Under the revised MSEHPA, doctors could be
required to administer treatments they object to. For
example, pro-life doctors could be forced to give persons
vaccines developed from fetal tissue. This provision clearly
would infringe on doctors' and other health-care providers'
freedom of conscience. Moreover, the revised draft legislation
does not state clearly that it will uphold existing
state laws that provide for exemptions to vaccination.
However, it does state that individuals who refuse medical
treatment (including vaccination) could be quarantined
- Give local governments (in addition to state governments)
new police powers, and
- Tie licensing laws to the MSEHPA. Health-care facilities,
doctors, and health-care providers would have to agree
to abide by the MSEHPA during public-health emergencies
in order to maintain their licenses to practice or
run a health-care business.
It is also worth noting that several words were changed
to make the legislation appear less authoritarian. For
example, the revision proposes to:
It sounds better, but does it change the meaning? Given
the newly added sweeping police powers, it's clear that
these minor cosmetic changes were made to appease freedom-loving
Americans who don't want Big Brother controlling their
lives--even during a "public health" emergency.
- "Protect" rather than "control"
- "Manage" instead of "control"
public and private property during public-health emergencies.
The revised Model State Emergency Health Powers
Act (dated December 21, 2001) can be accessed at www.publichealthlaw.net.
Many States Have Introduced and Are Considering the
Various versions of the MSEHPA legislation have been
introduced in at least 16 states, according to the American
Legislative Exchange Council's Web site www.alec.org,
including: AZ, CA, DE, IL, KY, MA, MN, MO, MS, NE,
NM, NV, NJ, NY, PA and TN.
States that are considering the legislation or executive
branches that are studying it include: CO, CT, DC,
HI, MD, ME, NC, OH, OK, SC, TX, VA, and WI.
This article was originally published in the January/February
2002 issue of Health
Individuals who refuse medical treatment (including
vaccination) could be quarantined or isolated.