Boston Herald---The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously passed a pandemic flu preparation bill that has languished in the Legislature before the recent swine flu outbreak.
The 36-0 vote today sends the measure to the House. Both branches have taken it up in past years, but have not been able to agree on the details.
The new Senate version would allow the public health commissioner — in a public health emergency — to close or evacuate buildings, enter private property for investigations, and quarantine individuals.
The measure also requires a registry for volunteers that would be activated in an emergency and establishes fines of up to $1,000 for not complying with local public health orders.
So what does this bill actually mean?
The bill specifically mandates the following:
And digging a little bit more deeper.
(1) to require the owner or occupier of premises to permit entry into and investigation of the premises;
(2) to close, direct, and compel the evacuation of, or to decontaminate or cause to be decontaminated any building or facility, and to allow the reopening of the building or facility when the danger has ended;
(3) to decontaminate or cause to be decontaminated, or to destroy any material;
(4) to restrict or prohibit assemblages of persons;
(5) to require a health care facility to provide services or the use of its facility, or to transfer the management and supervision of the health care facility to the department or to a local public health authority;
(6) to control ingress to and egress from any stricken or threatened public area, and the movement of persons and materials within the area;
(7) to adopt and enforce measures to provide for the safe disposal of infectious waste and human remains, provided that religious, cultural, family, and individual beliefs of the deceased person shall be followed to the extent possible when disposing of human remains, whenever that may be done without endangering the public health;
(8) to procure, take immediate possession from any source, store, or distribute any anti-toxins, serums, vaccines, immunizing agents, antibiotics, and other pharmaceutical agents or medical supplies located within the commonwealth as may be necessary to respond to the emergency;
(9) to require in-state health care providers to assist in the performance of vaccination, treatment, examination, or testing of any individual as a condition of licensure, authorization, or the ability to continue to function as a health care provider in the commonwealth
"SECTION 5. Section 5A of chapter 111, as so appearing is hereby amended by striking out the first paragraph thereof and inserting in place thereof the following two paragraphs:-
The department may purchase, produce, and distribute anti-toxins, serums, vaccines, immunizing agents, antibiotics, and other pharmaceutical or medical supplies in the interest of preparing for or controlling diseases dangerous to the public health.
Whenever the commissioner determines that the inoculation of or administration to the general public, or a subset of the general public, of any antitoxin, serum, vaccine or other analogous product is essential in the interest of the public health and that an emergency exists by reason of a shortage or threatened shortage of such product, the department may purchase, produce, take immediate possession from any source, and distribute such product under such conditions and restrictions as it may prescribe; and while such shortage exists, as determined by the commissioner, the commissioner may establish by written order or orders, rules and priorities for the distribution and use of any such product within the commonwealth. Whoever violates any provision of any such order shall be punished by a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than two hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or both."
So pretty much Massachusetts the state will decide who gets the serum. They can come into your house at anytime. They can take and destroy any of your possessions at anytime. And if you do not corporate you will get thrown in jail. All because of the flu. This is mind boggling!