Upcoming, Feb. 6 – Drug Use and HIV: A Tale of Toxic Law


HIV/AIDS Policy Grand Rounds: Drug Use and HIV: A Tale of Toxic Law

In the wake of the HIV epidemic, legal and policy tools became critical in combatting the epidemic. The HIV/AIDS Policy Grand Rounds is an interdisciplinary series of workshops designed to explore the history, application, and current debates in the use of structural, human rights, biomedical, and public health approaches to combat the epidemic. Each workshop consists of a faculty presentation followed by comments by an invited expert and an open discussion.

The third workshop in the series will focus on the role of drug policy as a driver of the HIV epidemic among injection drug users. Leo Beletsky (Asst. Professor of Law and Health Sciences, Northeastern University School of Law and Bouvé College of Health Sciences) who will be joined by guest expert Robert Heimer (Professor, Yale School of Public Health). The speakers will will explore the interface of drug policy, HIV risk and human rights, with special focus on the role of law and law enforcement in fueling the epidemic in the US and Eastern Europe.

What: HIV/AIDS Policy Grand Rounds: Drug Use and HIV: A Tale of Toxic Law

When: Wednesday Feb 6 at noon; The workshop will run 90-100 minutes.

Where: 250 Dockser Hall, Northeastern University School of Law, 400 Huntington Ave.

Lunch will be served.

To assure an adequate food order, please RSVP by Feb. 5 by emailing Sue Council at s.council@neu.edu with “Grand Rounds” in the subject.

Playing Sports Now a Civil Right

Art Caplan and his colleagues at the NYU Sports & Society Program have an interesting new essay up at Forbes:

Obama Administration: Playing Sports Is Now A Civil Right

The United States Department of Education has released aguidance requiring schools to make “reasonable modifications” to include students with disabilities in mainstream athletics programs or provide parallel options. That may sound like just another boring piece of paper that oozes off the desk of a government bureaucrat on any given day. But this is very different. The guidance proclaims that access to interscholastic, intramural, and intercollegiate athletics is a civil right.
Asserting access to athletic programs as a civil right is a big step forward for our education system and, of course, for people with disabilities. It highlights the important role that sports can play in the development of young people as functioning and contributing members of society. It also serves to help decrease the stigma too often associated with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities.

The limitation of a guidance is that it clarifies existing laws, but doesn’t create new ones. So, although it’s not a “toothless tiger,” it’s questionable as to whether anyone will be able to file a lawsuit based on it. And there are sure to be lawsuits because it’s inevitable that the guidance is going to create a host of issues about classification and definition such as: What is a disability? What is a “reasonable modification”? What is a reasonable “accommodation”? What will get modified: the sport, the arena, or the people eligible to play?

Keep reading…