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Subject: Letter to Ed #2 - MSEHPA2184 Hwy 14
Banner, WY 82832-9709
December 5, 2001
The Sheridan Press
P.O. Box 2006
Sheridan, WY 82801
In my first letter regarding the "Model State Emergency Health Powers Act", I related how the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons feels about the taking away of our delicate system of checks and balances.
I am accepting the suggestion of the AAPS that we spread the word far and wide. My quotes below are from the article called "AAPS ANALYSIS (DRAFT): EMERGENCY HEALTH POWERS ACT TURNS GOVERNORS INTO DICTATORS", which is found at http://www.aapsonline.org .
The AAPS, of Tucson, AZ, states its concern that under the Health Powers Act, a governor could appoint himself dictator simply by declaring a "public health emergency". He "shall consult with the public health authority," but "nothing in the duty . . . to consult . . . shall be construed to limit the Governor's authority to act without such consultation when the situation calls for prompt and timely action." Article III, Section 301 of the Health Powers Act.
The state legislature may not intervene for 60 days, and apparently has no authority to declare that a state of emergency never actually existed. Article III, Section 305 ( c ).
A public health emergency is whatever the Governor wishes it to be. The Act says that it can be an "occurrence" or it can be an "imminent threat" with the cause being anything that involves a biological toxin or bio-agent that might be a "substantial risk of a significant number of human fatalities" or disability. Article I, Section 104 (l).
But what is a "substantial risk"? A substantial risk is undefined in the Act. One in one million, perhaps? The AAPS says that the risk of one in a million is already a figure that is used to justify removal of vaccine exemptions, when speaking of an outbreak of, say, measles with transmission through an unvaccinated child.
Is five cases considered substantial to justify such an emergency? That is the number of anthrax deaths as of the date of the writing of the AAPS article from which I am quoting. Perhaps smallpox is the most plausible of the threats that is cited to warrant the promotion of such legislation. The AAPS says, "given the nature of the disease and advanced medicine and sanitation, such an outbreak could be contained without any of the radical measures in this Act, just as in the 1970s. (See, for example, "Super Smallpox Saturdays?" by Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., and Robert J. Cihak, M.D., http://WorldNetDaily.com, Nov. 15, 2001.) Because of the adverse side effects of the vaccine (including death), more harm than good could be done by an ill-advised, unnecessary mass vaccination campaign."
Patient privacy would be jeopardized because of new reporting requirements.
The Governor would possess broad powers in managing the emergency. The AAPS comment on this is, "He is under no obligation to use scientifically valid methods, or to choose the least destructive method, or to perform any kind of risk-benefit analysis. He may suspend any regulatory statute, or the rules of any state agency, if they would 'prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action.' Article III, Section 303 (a)(1). Among the laws to be suspended would probably be those permitting religious, medical, or philosophical exemptions to mandatory vaccines."
Clearly the Health Powers Act deserves much closer scrutiny. If an organization of medical professionals is saying these things about it, perhaps we need to sit up and take notice.
Sincerely, Susan Pearce Banner, WY