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Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis
Amid a growing consensus that the staggering toll of gun violence in the United States is an urgent public health issue, the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health has convened experts on gun policy and violence from the United States and selected other countries to summarize relevant research and its implications for policymakers and concerned citizens. Legal scholars weigh in on the constitutionality of recommended policies, and researchers present new data on public support for a wide array of policies designed to reduce gun violence. Collected for the first time in one volume, this reliable, empirical research and legal analysis will inform the policy debate by helping lawmakers and opinion leaders identify the policy changes that are most likely to reduce gun violence in the United States. Researchers draw on new and existing studies on U.S. gun policies to demonstrate both the weaknesses of current federal gun policies and the efficacy of various state laws designed to reduce firearm availability to high-risk groups. By analyzing scientific and legal data, the contributors provide evidence in support of enhanced regulation and oversight of licensed gun dealers, background checks for private sales, and purchaser licensing. Lessons from bans of assault weapons and of large-capacity magazines for guns are considered, as is the promise of “smart guns,” which could be fired only by authorized users. Compelling case studies from Australia, Scotland, and Brazil demonstrate effective policy responses to gun violence that have led to significant reductions in gun-related deaths. The book concludes with data on public support for strengthening gun laws and Second Amendment considerations.
The Tuberculosis Preventorium in American Life, 1909-1970
The Culture and Politics of Opiate Control in Britain and France, 1821–1926
This comparative history examines the divergent paths Britain and France took in managing opiate abuse during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Though the governments of both nations viewed rising levels of opiate use as a problem, Britain and France took opposite courses of action in addressing the issue. The British sanctioned maintenance treatment for addiction, while the French authorities did not hesitate to take legal action against addicts and the doctors who prescribed drugs to them. Howard Padwa draws on primary documents to examine the factors that led to these disparate approaches. He finds that shifts in the composition of drug-using populations of the two countries and a marked divergence in British and French conceptions of citizenship influenced national policies. Beyond shared concerns about public health and morality, Britain and France understood the threat opiate abuse posed to their respective communities differently. Padwa traces the evolution of thinking on the matter in both countries, explaining why Britain took a less adversarial approach to domestic opiate abuse despite the productivity-sapping powers of this social poison, and why the relatively libertine French chose to attack opiate abuse. In the process, Padwa reveals the confluence of changes in medical knowledge, culture, politics, and drug-user demographics throughout the period, a convergence of forces that at once highlighted the issue and transformed it from one of individual health into a societal concern. An insightful look at the development of drug discourses in the nineteenth century and drug policy in the twentieth century, Social Poison will appeal to scholars and students in public health and the history of medicine.
Sexual Stories in the Black AIDS Epidemic
How Resourceful Latinas Beat the Odds
Inspiration for Tomorrow's Leaders
There are occasions when a story told from a personal viewpoint can illuminate a profession. Alfred Sommer’s epidemiological memoir is such a book. Adventurous, illuminating, and thought provoking, Ten Lessons in Public Health is more than the story of one man’s work. It tells the tale of how epidemiology grew into global health. The book is organized around ten lessons Sommer learned as his career took him around the world, and within these lessons he explains how the modern era of public health research was born. Three themes emerge from Sommer's story: the duty to help your fellow human beings by traveling to places where there are problems; the knowledge that data-driven research is the key to improving public health; and the need to persevere with sensitivity and strength when science and cultural or sociological forces clash. Nothing in this compelling, sometimes controversial, history is glossed over, as the book’s goal is to explain when and why public health efforts triumph or fail. Readers will travel to Bangladesh, Iran, Indonesia, South America, and the Caribbean, where they will learn about spreading epidemics, the aftermath of storms, and vexing epidemiological problems. Sommer reveals the inner politics of world health decisions and how difficult it can be to garner support for new solutions. Triumph, tragedy, frustration, and elation await those who set off on careers in public health, and Ten Lessons in Public Health is destined to become a classic book that puts the field into perspective.
The Transformation of Newborn Screening, Parenting, and Policymaking
Within forty-eight hours after birth, the heel of every baby in the United States has been pricked and the blood sent for compulsory screening to detect or rule out a large number of disorders. Newborn screening is expanding rapidly, fueled by the prospect of saving lives. Yet many lives are also changed by it in ways not yet recognized.
Testing Baby is the first book to draw on parents’ experiences with newborn screening in order to examine its far-reaching sociological consequences. Rachel Grob’s cautionary tale also explores the powerful ways that parents’ narratives have shaped this emotionally charged policy arena. Newborn screening occurs almost always without parents’ consent and often without their knowledge or understanding, yet it has the power to alter such things as family dynamics at the household level, the context of parenting, the way we manage disease identity, and how parents’ interests are understood and solicited in policy debates.
The HPV Vaccine and the Politics of Medicine's Simple Solutions
In 2007, Texas governor Rick Perry issued an executive order requiring that all females entering sixth grade be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV), igniting national debate that echoed arguments heard across the globe over public policy, sexual health, and the politics of vaccination. Three Shots at Prevention explores the contentious disputes surrounding the controversial vaccine intended to protect against HPV, the most common sexually transmitted infection. When the HPV vaccine first came to the market in 2006, religious conservatives decried the government's approval of the vaccine as implicitly sanctioning teen sex and encouraging promiscuity while advocates applauded its potential to prevent 4,000 cervical cancer deaths in the United States each year. Families worried that laws requiring vaccination reached too far into their private lives. Public health officials wrestled with concerns over whether the drug was too new to be required and whether opposition to it could endanger support for other, widely accepted vaccinations. Many people questioned the aggressive marketing campaigns of the vaccine's creator, Merck & Co. And, since HPV causes cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, and anus, why was the vaccine recommended only for females? What did this reveal about gender and sexual politics in the United States? With hundreds of thousands of HPV-related cancer deaths worldwide, how did similar national debates in Europe and the developing world shape the global possibilities of cancer prevention? This volume provides insight into the deep moral, ethical, and scientific questions that must be addressed when sexual and social politics confront public health initiatives in the United States and around the world.
The Debate in Modern America
Since 1990, the number of mandated vaccines has increased dramatically. Today, a fully vaccinated child will have received nearly three dozen vaccinations between birth and age six. Along with the increase in number has come a growing wave of concern among parents about the unintended side effects of vaccines. In Vaccine, Mark A. Largent explains the history of the debate and identifies issues that parents, pediatricians, politicians, and public health officials must address. Nearly 40% of American parents report that they delay or refuse a recommended vaccine for their children. Despite assurances from every mainstream scientific and medical institution, parents continue to be haunted by the question of whether vaccines cause autism. In response, health officials herald vaccines as both safe and vital to the public's health and put programs and regulations in place to encourage parents to follow the recommended vaccine schedule. For Largent, the vaccine-autism debate obscures a constellation of concerns held by many parents, including anxiety about the number of vaccines required (including some for diseases that children are unlikely ever to encounter), unhappiness about the rigorous schedule of vaccines during well-baby visits, and fear of potential side effects, some of them serious and even life-threatening. This book disentangles competing claims, opens the controversy for critical reflection, and provides recommendations for moving forward.