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LAW Health Law: Improving Public Health

Public Interest Law: General

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LAW 762

Health Law: Improving Public Health

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[ Academia ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] Public Interest Law: General

Why it is relevant for ...

[ Academia ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] as a Related Elective for those interested in Health Policy : This course is a great choice for future health policy lawyers. During a career focused on public health issues, you are likely to seek to fashion regulations that affect individual decisions that are health-related. In an area that so closely affects matters of personal choice, it is important to consider when an intervention by government is justified. This course should also be useful for students who expect to serve clients in the health care or life science industries. Sectors affecting public health are heavily regulated, and it is important to understand the variety of justifications for government intervention.

General course Description:

This course examines how the law can be used to improve the public's health. The major themes explored are, what authority does the government have to regulate in the interest of public health? How are individual rights balanced against this authority? What are the benefits and pitfalls of using laws and litigation to achieve public health goals? The course investigates these issues as they operate in a range of specific contexts in public health, including the control and prevention of infectious disease; laws aimed at preventing obesity and associated noncommunicable diseases; tobacco regulation; ensuring access to medical care; reproductive health; lawsuits against tobacco, food, and gun companies; and public health emergencies. In these contexts, we will ask and answer questions such as, what do the Constitution and key statutes permit? What makes a good public health law? What does public health evidence tell us about the likely effectiveness of particular legal interventions? What ethical and economic arguments justify government intervention to shape individuals' and companies' health-related behaviors? Instruction is through interactive lectures with a significant amount of class discussion and some group exercises. Class Participation, Written Assignments, Final Exam.

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