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Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness


Project #4: "Legal and Ethical Assessment Concerning Mental and Behavioral Health Preparedness"

The objective of Project #4, "Legal and Ethical Assessment Concerning Mental and Behavioral Health Preparedness," is to assess legal and ethical issues and solutions concerning prevention, detection and treatment of persons with mental and behavioral disabilities before, during and after emergencies. Project #4 is a systematic and comprehensive review of current legal research at federal, state, tribal and local levels to assess laws that impact mental/behavioral issues during declared emergencies. To date, the legal and ethical environments related to mental and behavioral health before, during and after significant declared emergencies has not been comprehensively explored. Particularly vulnerable populations (e.g., those with pre-existing mental health issues, children, elderly, frontline responders) are often at high risk of a preventable and/or treatable mental disability during and following a declared public health emergency.

Public Health Significance:

  • Review and assess the legal and ethical environment that impacts mental and behavioral health issues in a declared emergency and develop authoritative legal and ethical reports, prepare translational tools for mental and behavioral health legal and ethical preparedness, and publish high-level legal and ethical scholarship to enhance current policies and changes in legal and ethical norms

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