Research Results

Results from grant-funded research projects evaluating public health law issues.

Technical Note: Increased Distance Between Galvanic Lead: Copper Pipe Connections Decreases Lead Release

It has recently been proposed that lead contamination of drinking water arising from galvanic corrosion of lead and copper pipe will be minimized if the lead and copper pipes are brought into direct contact when compared to pipe separations of 1 cm to 15 cm and external electrical contact via a grounding strap. A direct, four month test of this hypothesis was conducted with measurement of galvanic current and lead release to water.

Advance Directives: A Tool for Reducing Coercion

A recovery-based mental health system uses coercion only when necessary to prevent harm or arrest severe deterioration, only as a last resort, and always with respect for the person's dignity. Recovery envisions a process by which persons experiencing a mental disorder take control of their lives, including planning for care in a crisis, assisted by caring partners. For those who are strongly treatment-resistant or have not begun the recovery process, there may be no alternative to coercion.

Preventing Gun Violence Involving People with Serious Mental Illness

This study takes as a starting place the inherent tension between public safety and civil rights in considering mental illness as a significant concern for firearms policy and law. This means grappling with the full range of social benefits and costs that may accrue in casting a wide net with a broad mesh to find a few dangerous people among the many with largely non-dangerous disorders of thought, mood, and behavior.

A Survey of Stakeholder Knowledge, Experience, and Opinions of Advance Directives for Mental Health in Virginia

This article reports results of a survey of 460 individuals in five stakeholder groups during the initial implementation period of a Virginia health care law that enables competent adults with serious mental illness to plan for treatment during incapacitating crises using an integrated advance directive with no legal distinction between psychiatric or other causes of decisional incapacity. The study concludes that relevant stakeholders support implementation of advance directives for mental health, but level of baseline knowledge and perception of barriers vary.

Building evidence for legal decision making in real time: Legal triage in public health emergencies

Similar to the triaging of patients by health care workers, legal and public health professionals must prioritize and respond to issues of law and ethics in declared public health emergencies. As revealed by the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza outbreak and other events, there are considerable inconsistencies among professionals regarding how to best approach these issues during a public health emergency.

Reducing Crime by Shaping the Built Environment with Zoning: An Empirical Study of Los Angeles

This study improved on the existing work by examining these issues with a more rigorous scientific design. The researchers first examined the relationship between land-use law, the built environment, and crime using detailed block-level crime data and careful observations conducted on 205 blocks in eight different relatively high-crime areas of Los Angeles. They then analyzed the relationship between changes in land-use zones and crime in all neighborhoods in Los Angeles.


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