From a parent’s perspective, it might be hard to see how the government directly prevents incidence of Cerebral Palsy. However, it’s the government that sets health care agendas, makes available awareness building campaigns, and funds essential research to trend, monitor, prevent and treat health care initiatives.
The role of the government
Government’s role in the prevention of Cerebral Palsy is indirect, but also multi-faceted. The government’s actions set the stage frames what we know about the condition and how to mitigate it.
The U.S. government’s role is to make laws that protect the public’s overall health, publicize threats to health as well protective measures, enforce laws and standards related to health and safety, fund research initiatives, levy punishment on people or entities that risk the public’s health, and provide an avenue for people to seek vindication of their rights when they’ve been wronged.
This is accomplished through several channels, including regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Through these agencies, measures concerning health and safety are enforced, creating an atmosphere of accountability.
Enforcement activities often address the following issues:
- Food safety
- Medication safety
- Hospital safety
- Automobile, transportation safety
- Injury prevention
- Product safety
- Personal safety
Another area of government that assists in disease prevention is the legislative branch. Congress enacts laws and approves appropriations that affect an individual's rights and welfare. Elected representatives help to establish and support industry standards, regulate doctors and medical facilities, protect consumers, and regulate manufacturers. They also determine whether a person can be compensated through the court system.
The legislature’s role in preventing Cerebral Palsy and other conditions includes:
- Enacting federal laws
- Addressing health issues via hearings
- Appropriating research funding
- Establishing investigative commissions and boards
- Regulating government health benefits (Medicaid and Medicare)
- Supporting the rights of individuals with disabilities
- Funding public awareness campaigns
- Enforcing human basic civil liberties
The legal system also provides an avenue for the government to affect Cerebral Palsy prevention, first by compensating people for harm done to a child inside or outside of a medical setting. Often, legal costs and settlements for plaintiffs encourage positive change that lead to a safer environment for a child. Because of legal settlements, medical procedures and standards have been improved, automobile safety standards were implemented, healthcare policies and procedures have been improved, and laws have protected a person’s basic human and civil rights.
The legal system’s role in preventing Cerebral Palsy and other conditions includes:
- Enforcing existing statutes and judicially-created provisions
- Setting precedents of law
- Creating accountability through settlements and awards
- Compensating individuals under certain circumstances
- Identifying wrongful conduct
- Bringing attention to situations that need regulation