Public Health Law
SPH LW 850
This problem-oriented research seminar enables students to confront questions about health risks as such questions typically arise in practice -- in all their messy complexity and without doctrinal labels. The seminar offers a systematic framework for identifying health risks, drawing on theories of risk perception, cognitive reasoning, and empirical evidence. Using contemporary examples of risks from firearms, tobacco, drugs, foods and other consumer products, genetics, personal behavior, contagious and chronic diseases, bioterrorism, surveillance, and the social environment, students analyze and compare the applicability and effectiveness of different legal strategies to control different types of risks. Strategies include criminal and civil prohibitions, mandatory product standards, tort liability, mandatory data collection, biometric testing, wellness programs, conditions of employment, advertising and marketing restrictions, isolation and quarantine, involuntary treatment, taxation, and limits on liability. Emphasis is on the different requirements for and limits of laws regulating personal behavior and laws regulating products and commercial activities. Students conduct independent research to develop a legal strategy to address a contemporary risk to health.