Health Law, Ethics & Human Rights

The Center for Health Law, Ethics & Human Rights is the hub for innovative, multidisciplinary research unique in the health field.

Exceptional Depth and Caliber of Faculty

First, there’s our renowned faculty—internationally recognized and widely published experts in health law, ethics, and human rights. They serve as members of state, national and international committees and task forces, addressing real-world problems in public health, social justice and human rights.

Outstanding Research and Service Opportunities

Our research targets contemporary health policies and practices that raise complex questions of law, ethics or human rights. We bring together experts in many disciplines to develop ways to protect health along with—and not at the expense of—justice, fairness, and human rights.  Current research areas  include the Affordable Care Act, wellness programs, insurance theory and contracting, health information technology and privacy, clinical genomics and biobanking, emergency preparedness and response, access to pharmaceuticals and vaccines in developing countries, medical ethics in the Holocaust, Guantanamo and domestic prisons, research with human subjects, and reproductive health.

Translating Research Into Action

The Center puts research into practice. Faculty advise government agencies, provide testimony before legislatures, submit amicus briefs, and comment on proposed state and federal regulations. The Center has its own nongovernmental organization (NGO), Global Lawyers & Physicians, and Center faculty work closely with Boston Medical Center’s Immigrant and Refugee Health & Human Rights Program.


The Center hosts Visiting Scholars who come from all over the world to conduct research with our faculty. The Center also provides a competitive 2-year Health Law, Ethics & Human Rights Fellowship to prepare graduate lawyers for academic careers and a 1-year Health Law Fellowship for BU JD-MPH dual degree students. For application requirements, please see Visiting Scholars and JD-MPH Fellowship and Health Law, Ethics & Human Rights Fellowship.