Potential and Limits of Health Legislation, with Particular Respect to Prevention

  • J. F. Martin
Conference paper
Part of the Health Systems Research book series (HEALTH)


Explained in part by the difficulties industrialized countries have had in the last ten years, there is often now a tendency toward dependence upon more legislation as the way to insure a given situation is under control. In all areas of public life, there is room for legislation; in some of them, legislation is badly lacking. Yet, it is important that health professionals, legislators and executive magistrates remain aware that regulation is of varying relevance according to the health problem/sector one considers (Fielding 1983; Snoke 1982; Yankauer 1983). Also, while action from a central political/administrative level will be needed in certain cases, for others the main initiatives should be left to the periphery. Another fundamental aspect of this question is the increasing realization of the multifactorial etiology of most health disorders, in the individual, in the family and in the community. Should legislation seem indicated, the question is “Is the improvement of this situation likely to come from a piece of health legislation, or through regulations in another sector?”


Speed Limit Multifactorial Etiology Motorize Traffic InvoLuntary Commitment Smoking Regulation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Beauchamp DE (1980) Public health and individual liberty. In Annual Rev Pub Hlth. Annual Reviews Inc, Palo Alto, p. 121–136.Google Scholar
  2. Campbell AV (1978) Medicine, health and justice - The problem of priorities. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  3. Fielding JE (1983) Lessons form health care regulation. In Annual Rev Pub Hlth. Annual Reviews Inc, Palo Alto, p. 91–130.Google Scholar
  4. Martin J (1978) Actions à visée préventive. Schweiz Med Wschr 108, 345–348.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Snoke AW (1982) What good is legislation — or planning — if we can’t make it work? Am J Pub Hlth 72, 1028–1033.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Yankauer A (1983) Public and private prevention. Am J Pub Hlth 73, 1032–1033.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. F. Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.Service de la santé publique et de la planification sanitaireLausanneSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations