Implementing public health policy and practice within a legal framework : Constraints of culture, faith and belief
This paper addresses the implications of cultural and religious beliefs and behaviours for the imposition of population-based health policies, and for law that delivers these policies. In particular, the paper addresses perceptions of health risk in recognition of the importance of risk assessment as a public health tool. In a public health emergency, to what extent should public health law impose public health interventions which might offend individual cultural or religious beliefs? The balance between public health and private right is examined to determine whether public health law can be framed to accommodate minority health beliefs and behaviours without detriment to the health of the population.