Law 2855 - Public Health Law, Policy, and Ethics
“Public Health Law, Policy, and Ethics” will focus on the application of law to public health and on the ethical and policy parameters of that application. During most of its history, the United States has struggled to improve population health without compromising the health of individuals. This course will address legal and policy responses to issues such as vaccination, addiction, obesity, hunger, genetic testing, environmental pollution, epidemics, bioterrorism, natural disasters, and limitations on access to healthcare, among other issues.
The course will ask students to engage in textual analysis and to examine and respond to a set of public health case-studies. (Case studies will be distributed at the start of each semester; topics of the case studies will vary as policy issues shift over time.) Students will consider how best to shape public-health policy, the role of law in implementing policy, and the ethical implications of efforts by law-makers to improve population health. The course will direct students to work with, and consider the implications for public health of administrative law, tort law, criminal law, and constitutional law. More specifically, students will examine federalism issues that arise in efforts to improve population health; identify stakeholders interested in various components of public health law and delineate the positions of each stakeholder; shape statutes aimed at safeguarding population health while protecting individual rights; and design legal responses to local, state, national, and global public-health crises.
Credits: 2 or 3
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