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So far, the discussion about bioterrorism has mostly been confined to figuring out what to do with hospitals, emergency services and Middle Eastern despots. In March, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, Calif., hopes to help get the legal community in on the preparation. McGeorge will host a conference to explore the legal ramifications of the public response to the threat. Discussions will include the government’s role in public health, quarantine, restricted freedom of movement, patients’ privacy and even liability and tort issues, said McGeorge Professor Clark Kelso. “This is an area where there are quite a few legal issues that haven’t been thought about,” Kelso said. After the Sept. 11 attacks, lawyers across the country looked into the issues surrounding terrorism, civil rights and homeland security. Kelso sees the conference as a continuing part of that effort. Kelso said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is promoting the discussion within the legal community nationwide. The exact date for the conference will be announced soon. McGeorge won a $45,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to help pay conference expenses.

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