Kirkland, WA / USA - circa March 2020: Street view of the Life Care Center of Kirkland building, ground zero of the coronavirus outbreak in Kirkland.

How COVID-19 Could Drive Improvements in Care Facilities (Part II)

By Nicolas Terry, LLM and Tara Sklar, JD, MPH

This post is part II of a two-part series on COVID-19 and care facilities. In the first installment we assessed the centrality of care facilities to the COVID-19 pandemic and outlined the infection risks for residents and workers. In this second installment we will explore how improved regulation and enforcement, combined with liability rules, provide the best path forward to improve an industry that, despite its deficiencies, claims it deserves exceptional immunity.

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Gloved hand holding medical rapid test labeled COVID-19 over sheet of paper listing the test result as negative.

How COVID-19 Could Drive Improvements in Care Facilities (Part I)

By Nicolas Terry, LLM and Tara Sklar, JD, MPH

Introduction

This post is part I of a two-part series on COVID-19 and care facilities. In this first installment we assess the centrality of care facilities to the COVID-19 pandemic and outline the infection risks for residents and workers. In the second installment we will explore how improved regulation and enforcement, combined with liability rules, provide the best path forward to improve an industry that, despite its deficiencies, claims it deserves exceptional immunity.

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New TWIHL 182: Abortion Exceptionalism During COVID-19

By Nicolas Terry

I welcome three excellent guests this week. Our discussion centers around new abortion restrictions issued as part of state responses to COVID-19. For example, in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order banning nonessential medical services. Subsequently, his attorney general interpreted that order as applying to all abortions. Planned Parenthood successfully applied for a temporary restraining order in the district court, only for the Fifth Circuit to lift the stay.

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New TWIHL with Wendy Mariner and Michael Ulrich

My guests are Wendy Mariner and Michael Ulrich. At Boston University School of Public Health, Mariner is the Edward R. Utley Professor of Health Law, Professor in the Center for Health Law, Ethics & Human Rights, Professor in the Department of Health Law, Policy & Management, and Director of the JD-MPH dual degree program. She is also a Professor of Law at Boston University School of Law and Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.

Ulrich is a Professor of Health Law, Ethics, & Human Rights at the Boston University School of Public Health. His scholarship focuses on the intersection of public health, constitutional law, bioethics, and social justice, with an emphasis on the role of law in the health outcomes of vulnerable and underserved populations. Previously he was a Senior Fellow in Health Law, & Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School and a bioethicist in the Division of AIDS at the National Institutes of Health.

Our discussion concentrates on two aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic: (1) where the healthcare system is as far as capacity and resources, the impact of new federal legislation, and what else is needed and (2) what is the legal valence (if any) of terms such as “shelter in place” or “quarantine” and how will we calibrate more serious infringements on liberty such as lockdowns.

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in health law and policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts or Google Play, listen at Stitcher Radio, SpotifyTunein or Podbean.

Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find me on Twitter @nicolasterry or @WeekInHealthLaw.

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New TWIHL with Françoise Baylis

I welcome Dr. Françoise Baylis, University Research Professor at the NTE Impact Ethics interdisciplinary research team based at the Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University in Halifax Canada. She is a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. In 2017 she was awarded the Canadian Bioethics Society Lifetime Achievement Award. She is a distinguished researcher and prolific scholar with 200 or so books, refereed publications and chapters to her name. Her latest book published by Harvard University Press is Altered Inheritance: CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Genome Editing. At the time of recording we knew the book had been nominated for an Association of American Publishers Professional and Scholarly Excellence (or PROSE) award, which it subsequently won!

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in health law and policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts or Google Play, listen at Stitcher Radio, SpotifyTunein or Podbean.

Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find me on Twitter @nicolasterry or @WeekInHealthLaw.

pill bottle - buprenorphine / naloxone

Protecting the Vulnerable Substance Use Disorder Population During COVID-19

By Brandon George and Nicolas P. Terry

Introduction

Earlier this month, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse identified those with substance use disorder (SUD) as a particularly vulnerable population during the COVID-19 pandemic. She highlighted the negative effects of opioid or methamphetamine use on respiratory and pulmonary health in addition to the disproportionate number of those with SUD who are homeless or incarcerated.

We detail the additional challenges faced by the SUD population and, specifically, the opioid use disorder (OUD) sub-group at this time, identify positive ameliorative steps taken by federal, state, and local governments, and recommend additional steps.

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New TWIHL with Julia Lynch

I welcome Dr. Julia Lynch, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on the politics of inequality and social policy in the rich democracies, particularly the countries of western Europe with a particular interest in comparative health policy and the politics of health inequalities; comparative political economy of western Europe; southern European politics; and the politics of aging. At Penn, she serves as the faculty director of the Penn In Washington Program, and co-directs the Penn-Temple European Studies Colloquium. Dr Lynch serves on the advisory board of the Italian Studies Program, is a Senior Fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, and edits Socio-Economic Review, a multi-disciplinary journal focusing on analytical, political and moral questions arising at the intersection of economy and society. Adding to her impressive list of publications is “Regimes of Inequality, The Political Economy of Health and Wealth” which has just been published by Cambridge University Press.

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New TWIHL with Nicole Huberfeld & Rachel Sachs

I welcome back two TWIHL fan favorites. Nicole Huberfeld is Professor of Health Law, Ethics & Human Rights at the School of Public Health and Professor of Law at the School of Law. Her scholarship focuses on the cross-section of health law and constitutional law with an emphasis on health reform, federalism in health care (especially Medicaid), and the federal spending power. She is the co-author of 2 leading casebooks, The Law of American Health Care and Public Health Law, Her scholarship is as voluminous as it is remarkable. In 2019, she won the Excellence in Teaching Award at BU School of Public Health. Rachel Sachs is a Professor of Law at Washington University in St Louis. She is a scholar of innovation policy whose work explores the interaction of intellectual property law, food and drug regulation, and health law. Her work explores problems of innovation and access to new health care technologies. Professor Sachs’ scholarship has appeared in major law reviews and health policy journals. Before entering the world of teaching and researching she clerked for the Hon. Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

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