Spring 2015
    Law No.: LAW7073
    Sched. No.: 115210148

Public Health Law and Ethics
Section 1
Bernheim, Ruth G.
Bernheim, Ruth G.
Bonnie, Richard J.

Administrative Information:
During SIS enrollment, check on SIS for real-time enrollment numbers
Days, Times (Room):M, 1600-1845 (WB105)
Capacity:16 **This information is current as of 05/26/2015 06:15:09 AM**
Current Enrollment:7 **This information is current as of 05/26/2015 06:15:09 AM**

Course Description:

Course Content
This course explores the legal structure, legitimacy, design, and implementation of policies aiming to promote public health and reduce the social burden of disease and injury. It highlights the challenge posed by public health’s population-based perspective to traditional individual-centered, autonomy-driven perspectives in constitutional law and contemporary U.S. public policy. Illustrative topics include responses to public health emergencies, mandatory immunization, screening and reporting of infectious diseases, tensions between public health and privacy of health information, prevention of obesity and diabetes, mandatory use of cycling helmets and seat belts, public health genetics, and restrictions on alcohol and tobacco advertising.

Course Format
This course meets jointly with students from the School of Medicine enrolled in the MPH program. Instructors will meet separately with law students for the first 75 minutes and will be joined by the MPH students for the remainder of the class.

Course Objectives
  • To provide an introduction to the public health sciences and the goals, structure and scope of public health action;
  • To examine the legal foundations of federal, state, and local public health activities, as well as the constitutional principles that protect individual interests and otherwise limit government action;
  • To explore the political and ethical dimensions of particular public health challenges, such as tobacco control, infectious disease prevention, and occupational safety and health, and the potential legal tools available to public health authorities to address these issues, such as surveillance, quarantine, and product regulation.

COURSE REQUIREMENT: Class attendance and participation and three 8-10 page papers (or a take-home examination depending on final course enrollment)