Populations, Public Health, and the Law

Georgetown University Press
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Law plays a crucial role in protecting the health of populations. Whether the public health threat is bioterrorism, pandemic influenza, obesity, or lung cancer, law is an essential tool for addressing the problem. Yet for many decades, courts and lawyers have frequently overlooked law’s critical importance to public health. Populations, Public Health, and the Law seeks to remedy that omission. The book demonstrates why public health protection is a vital objective for the law and presents a new population-based approach to legal analysis that can help law achieve its public health mission while remaining true to its own core values.

By looking at a diverse range of topics, including food safety, death and dying, and pandemic preparedness, Wendy E. Parmet shows how a population-based legal analysis that recalls the importance of populations and uses the tools of public health can enhance legal decision making while protecting both public health and the rights and liberties of individuals and their communities.

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About the author

Wendy E. Parmet is George J. and Kathleen Waters Matthews Distinguished University Professor of Law at Northeastern University and directs the law school’s dual degree JD–MPH program with Tufts University School of Medicine. She is a coauthor of Ethical Health Care.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Georgetown University Press
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Published on
Apr 2, 2009
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781589016057
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Health
Medical / Public Health
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Public Health Law Research: Theory and Methods definitively explores the mechanisms, theories and models central to public health law research – a growing field dedicated to measuring and studying law as a central means for advancing public health.

Editors Alexander C. Wagenaar and Scott Burris outline integrated theory drawn from numerous disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences; specific mechanisms of legal effect and guidelines for collecting and coding empirical datasets of statutory and case law; optimal research designs for randomized trials and natural experiments for public health law evaluation; and methods for qualitative and cost-benefit studies of law.. They also discuss the challenge of effectively translating the results of scientific evaluations into public health laws and highlight the impact of this growing field.

“How exactly the law can best be used as a tool for protecting and enhancing the public’s health has long been the subject of solely opinion and anecdote.  Enter Public Health Law Research, a discipline designed to bring the bright light of science to the relationships between law and health.  This book is a giant step forward in illuminating that subject.” -- Stephen Teret, JD, MPH, Professor, Director, Center for Law and the Public's Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

“Wagenaar and Burris bring a dose of much needed rigor to the empirical study of which public health law interventions really matter, and which don’t.” -- Bernard S. Black, JD, Chabraja Professor, Northwestern University Law School and Kellogg School of Management

Companion Web site: www.josseybass.com/go/wagenaar

In the contentious run-up to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Congress passed a law to make nonprofit health insurance CO-OPs (formally known as Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans) a viable alternative to the public option. The idea was to create new competition in order to lower health insurance premiums and encourage innovation. Nearly two dozen such low-cost CO-OPs were launched in the wake of the ACA's passage; only four are in operation today.

In Death by Regulation, Dr. Peter L. Beilenson tells the story of a group of Maryland-based public health professionals who launched the Evergreen Health Cooperative, only to discover that the ACA law encouraging CO-OPs was a "plastic plant"—a piece of legislation created for optics but never intended to be functional. Over most of its four years of existence, Evergreen succeeded against all odds, prevailing over naysayers, big insurance companies, Congress, and its founders' naïveté. But in an ironic twist, it was bureaucratic hostility from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services—the very Obama administration agency responsible for the CO-OPs—that led to their collective demise.

Beilenson traces the huge impact of seemingly small policy decisions on the work of his team and the people their CO-OP was built to serve. He recounts the excitement and satisfaction of launching such a valuable healthcare company, as well as the damage done to scores of employees and tens of thousands of satisfied healthcare customers when bureaucrats ran amok. The only book about these idealistic Obamacare CO-OPs and the obstacles they all faced, Death by Regulation offers an insider view of health policy and the reality of starting an insurance company from scratch.

Immigration and health care are hotly debated and contentious issues. Policies that relate to both issues—to the health of newcomers—often reflect misimpressions about immigrants, and their impact on health care systems. Despite the fact that immigrants are typically younger and healthier than natives, and that many immigrants play a vital role as care-givers in their new lands, native citizens are often reluctant to extend basic health care to immigrants, choosing instead to let them suffer, to let them die prematurely, or to expedite their return to their home lands. Likewise, many nations turn against immigrants when epidemics such as Ebola strike, under the false belief that native populations can be kept well only if immigrants are kept out.

In The Health of Newcomers, Patricia Illingworth and Wendy E. Parmet demonstrate how shortsighted and dangerous it is to craft health policy on the basis of ethnocentrism and xenophobia. Because health is a global public good and people benefit from the health of neighbor and stranger alike, it is in everyone’s interest to ensure the health of all. Drawing on rigorous legal and ethical arguments and empirical studies, as well as deeply personal stories of immigrant struggles, Illingworth and Parmet make the compelling case that global phenomena such as poverty, the medical brain drain, organ tourism, and climate change ought to inform the health policy we craft for newcomers and natives alike.
Immigration and health care are hotly debated and contentious issues. Policies that relate to both issues—to the health of newcomers—often reflect misimpressions about immigrants, and their impact on health care systems. Despite the fact that immigrants are typically younger and healthier than natives, and that many immigrants play a vital role as care-givers in their new lands, native citizens are often reluctant to extend basic health care to immigrants, choosing instead to let them suffer, to let them die prematurely, or to expedite their return to their home lands. Likewise, many nations turn against immigrants when epidemics such as Ebola strike, under the false belief that native populations can be kept well only if immigrants are kept out.

In The Health of Newcomers, Patricia Illingworth and Wendy E. Parmet demonstrate how shortsighted and dangerous it is to craft health policy on the basis of ethnocentrism and xenophobia. Because health is a global public good and people benefit from the health of neighbor and stranger alike, it is in everyone’s interest to ensure the health of all. Drawing on rigorous legal and ethical arguments and empirical studies, as well as deeply personal stories of immigrant struggles, Illingworth and Parmet make the compelling case that global phenomena such as poverty, the medical brain drain, organ tourism, and climate change ought to inform the health policy we craft for newcomers and natives alike.

For more than twenty years Practical Decision Making in Health Care Ethics has offered scholars and students a highly accessible and teachable alternative to the dominant principle-based theories in the field. Raymond J. Devettere's approach is not based on an ethics of abstract obligations and duties but, following Aristotle, on how to live a fulfilled and happy life—in short, an ethics of personal well-being grounded in prudence, the virtue of ethical decision making.

New sections added in this revised fourth edition include sequencing whole genomes, even those of newborns; the new developments in genetic testing now provided by online commercial companies such as 23andMe; the genetic testing of fetuses by capturing their DNA circulating in the pregnant woman's blood; the Stanford Prison experiment and its relevance to the abuses at the Abu Graib prison; recent breakthroughs in the diagnosis of consciousness disorders such as PVS; the ongoing controversy generated by the NIH study of premature babies at many NICUs throughout the county, a study known as SUPPORT that the OHRP (Office of Human Research Protections, an office within the department of HHS) deemed unethical.

Devettere updates most chapters. New cases include Marlise Munoz (dead pregnant woman's body kept on life support by a Texas hospital), Jahi McMath (teenager pronounced dead in California but treated as alive in New Jersey), Margot Bentley (nursing home feeding a woman dying of end stage Alzheimer’s despite her advance directive that said no nourishment or liquids if she was dying with dementia), Brittany Maynard (dying 29-year-old California woman who moved to Oregon to commit suicide with a physician's help), and Samantha Burton (woman with two children who suffered rupture of membranes at 25 weeks and whose physician obtained a court order to keep her at the hospital to make sure she stayed on bed rest). Thoughtfully updated and renewed for a new generation of readers, this classic textbook will be required reading for students and scholars of philosophy and medical ethics.

This issues-based reference work (available in both print and electronic formats) shines a spotlight on health care policy and practice in the United States. Impassioned debates about the best solutions to health care in America have perennially erupted among politicians, scholars of public policy, medical professionals, and the general public. The fight over the Health Care Reform Act of 2010 brought to light a multitude of fears, challenges, obstacles, and passions that often had the effect of complicating rather than clarifying the debate. The discourse has never been more heated. The complex issues that animate the health care debate have forced the American public to grapple with the exigencies of the present system with regard to economic, fiscal, and monetary policy, especially as they relate to philosophical, often ideologically driven approaches to the problem. Americans have also had to examine their ideas about the relationship of the individual to and interaction with the state and the varied social and cultural beliefs about what an American solution to the problem of health care looks like. In light of the need to keep students, researchers, and other interested readers informed and up-to-date on the issues surrounding health care in the U.S., this volume uses introductory essays followed by point/counterpoint articles to explore prominent and perennially important debates, providing readers with views on multiple sides of this complex issue.

Features & Benefits:

The volume is divided into three sections, each with its own Section Editor: Quality of Care Debates (Dr. Jennie Kronenfeld), Economic & Fiscal Debates (Dr. Mark Zezza), and Political, Philosophical, & Legal Debates (Prof. Wendy Parmet). Sections open with a Preface by the Section Editor to introduce the broad theme at hand and provide historical underpinnings.Each Section holds 12 chapters addressing varied aspects of the broad theme of the section.Chapters open with an objective, lead-in piece (or "headnote") followed by a point article and a counterpoint article.All pieces (headnote, point article, counterpoint article) are signed.For each chapter, students are referred to further readings, data sources, and other resources as a jumping-off spot for further research and more in-depth exploration.Finally, the volume concludes with a comprehensive index, and the electronic version of the book includes search-and-browse features, as well as the ability to link to further readings cited within chapters should they be available to the library in electronic format.
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