LAWS 2221 ‑ Public Health Law
CREDIT HOURS: 3
Protection of the public’s health has historically been one of the critical functions of the State; witness early laws regarding quarantine, sanitation, and food quality control. Both SARS and HIV have served as recent wake-up calls to remind us of the importance of regulation in the control of infectious disease outbreaks. The prevalence of obesity and diabetes prompts some to recommend state intervention in hitherto-unchecked areas of life often considered private. How is the balance to be set vis-à-vis state interference when juggling the values of individual liberty, privacy interests, protection of the public, and the promotion of health? This course examines these legal and ethical issues via the above topics as well as some of the following: compulsory testing and treatment for infectious disease; vaccination; drug and tobacco control; surveillance and research; genetics; maternity and parenting; and environmental impacts on health.
Assessment Method: Major research paper, class presentation, and class participation.