LAW 2759 - Constitutional Issues in Health Law
In this course, we will study fundamental issues of constitutional law as they are understood and expressed through court cases that examine core issues in health law. Initially, we will explore basic principles of constitutional interpretation in preparing to read and analyze the cases in their entirety, including important health law decisions on the Supreme Court, as well as on federal and state levels. We will examine the doctrines of privacy, due process, equal protection and property rights as they apply to partial birth abortion, the right not to procreate, wrongful birth, wrongful life, the right to die, medical confidentiality, protection of vulnerable populations, human experimentation and human gene patenting. The course will emphasize understanding how both constitutional doctrine and health law evolved as a result of the case law that we examine. We will also analyze how the various forms of constitutional jurisprudence the specific court utilized in each case influenced not only the result of a particular case, but also established precedent in health law with respect to each issue and impacted the evolution of constitutional doctrine with respect to the particular constitutional principle embedded in each decision. The goal of the course is to provide a more detailed understanding of core health law issues than is possible from taking the basic health law course, while providing students with the opportunity to learn about accepted modes of constitutional interpretation as they develop a deeper understanding of core constitutional principles.
Prerequisites & Notes
First Semester of Constitutional Law Required: Students should be familiar with reading and understanding cases on the U.S. Supreme Court level as well as have some familiarity with the basic principles embodied in the U.S. Constitution.
Health Law or Bioethics Preferred: Students should have some familiarity with core health care issues. The basic health law course would provide a strong foundation upon which to build a more comprehensive understanding of the constitutional issues that are represented in health law. Since we will examine constitutional doctrine and the health law issue represented in each case, it is possible to take the course without having taken Health Law or Bioethics, although a background in either would enhance the learning experience.
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