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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Thomas J. Esposito, MD, MPH (Loyola University Medical Center)
Description: This book is coauthored by two lawyers involved in the academic discipline of public health and injury control. It is a new, unique, and much needed work that provides a common knowledge base in law for the nonlawyer and in injury control for the law professional. The format is one of topical discussion, accentuated by illustrative presentations from case law.
Purpose: The authors assume readers have no familiarity with legal study. The stated purpose is to provide a general introduction to injury prevention law, explain sources of authority for such laws, and review their legal validity and effectiveness. The text offers systematic access to a majority of what is known regarding injury prevention laws, their strengths, weaknesses, and degree of success or failure. The authors also attempt to stimulate continuing study and development in the area of public health protection.
Audience: These respected authorities have targeted a multidisciplinary audience of those potentially involved in the broad field of injury control. These include public health safety professionals, academicians, government officials, safety advocates, engineers, health care providers, and concerned citizens. The style and format of text and references, however, are most easily understood by those familiar with the legal profession and its literature. This is particularly true for section 2 on the legal validity of injury prevention laws.
Features: There are several useful tables that present data clearly in the chapter on evaluation methodology. References are for the most part current; those that are older are pertinent. Overall, the book has a handsome appearance. The format of double columns alternating with full pages of text of different fonts is somewhat distracting. The appendix containing the Bill of Rights adds little to the book. Of greater value is the listing of related texts on injury control that is printed on the back of the book jacket. This, unfortunately, will be lost if the jacket is removed and discarded.
Assessment: This is an important work and resource for all injury control professionals. It is somewhat geared to those with a legal background, but the introduction and sections on private litigation and public policy issues are more easily read by broader audiences. A particularly unique, useful, and well written section deals with evaluating the effectiveness of injury prevention laws. This book is highly recommended.