LEGAL BRIEFS: CDC 101
The Center for Disease Control was founded after World War II. It grew out of an organization that helped fight malaria in war areas. It is part of the U.S. Public Health Services. It focuses on aspects of communicable diseases of all kinds as well as drug abuse, birth defects, obesity and bioterrorism. Part of it consists of a Center for State, Tribal, Local and Territory Support. In other words, the CDC does also work with the states.
The CDC does not promulgate laws and they are not a police force. Their guidelines and publications are often persuasive and guide both federal and state law makers and agency regulations. An example of this is the rather controversial CDC Guidelines for Chronic Pain. Although often misunderstood and misapplied, various state professional licensing agencies have adopted its conclusions and recommendations. They are enforced as the standard of care, often as if it were the law. Likewise, negligence attorneys from many states quote from it as it were the Bible.
Lawrence F. Kobak, Esq.
Senior Counsel, Frier Levitt
101 Greenwich Street, Suite 8B, New York, NY 10006