Upcoming Event: Human Rights and the Social Determinants of Health, November 1-2, 2012 at Northeastern University

Human Rights and the Social Determinants of Health
Thursday, November 1, 2012, 1-5:30pm
Friday, November 2, 2012, 12-1:30pm
Northeastern University School of Law
Dockster Hall
65 Forsyth Street, Boston

The Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) and the Program on Health Policy and Law at Northeastern University School of Law are hosting an event entitled “Human Rights and the Social Determinants of Health” on November  1 and November 2, 2012. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Ichiro Kawachi, from the Harvard School of Public Health. The event will also feature a special presentation by Sir Michael Marmot of University College London. Marmot is known internationally as a pioneer in the field of the social determinants of health.  For further information, please contact Sasha Varasano


Call for Papers – Petrie-Flom Center Annual Conference: The Food and Drug Administration in the 21st Century

We are pleased to announce plans for our annual conference, this year entitled: “The Food and Drug Administration in the 21st Century.”  This one and a half day event will take place Friday and Saturday, May 3-4, 2013, at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For details on the event and the call for proposals, see the Call for Papers/Presentations. Abstracts are due no later than December 10, 2012.

Upcoming Event: “Office and Responsibility – A Symposium in Honor of Professor Dennis Thompson”

Our colleagues at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, the Department of Government, and the FAS Dean’s Office at Harvard are sponsoring an exciting event next Thursday and Friday, October 11-12, 2012, in honor of Professor Dennis Thompson. The symposium is free and open to the public

For information on the lineup of speakers and presentations, visit the Symposium webpage.

Congratulations to the 2012 Health Law Scholars!

This past weekend was the eleventh annual Health Law Scholars Workshop, and I wanted to take a minute to congratulate the 2012 Scholars: Alena Allen (Memphis), Leo Beletsky (Northeastern), Christina Ho (Rutgers-Newark), and Lindsay Wiley (American).  Each scholar had two hours dedicated to a discussion of their work, with expert reviewers including Rebecca Dresser (Wash U), Elizabeth Weeks Leonard (Georgia), Kevin Outterson (Boston University), Ted Ruger (Penn), and Rob Schwartz (New Mexico/Hastings), along with the health law faculty at the Center for Health Law Studies, Saint Louis University.  The Workshop is sponsored by the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics and SLU’s Center for Health Law Studies, and scholars are selected by a health law committee through blind peer review.  To date there have been 44 scholars, including many contributors to Bill of Health.

The Central States Law Schools Association 2012 Scholarship Conference

The Central States Law Schools Association 2012 Scholarship Conference will be held October 19 and 20, 2012 at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, in Cleveland, Ohio.  We invite law faculty from across the country to submit proposals to present papers or works in progress.

The purpose of CSLSA is to foster scholarly exchanges among law faculty across legal disciplines.  The annual CSLSA conference is a forum for legal scholars, especially more junior scholars, to present working papers or finished articles on any law-related topic in a relaxed and supportive setting where junior and senior scholars from various disciplines are available to comment.  More mature scholars have an opportunity to test new ideas in a less formal setting than is generally available for their work.

To allow scheduling of the conference, please send an abstract of no more than 500 words to Secretary Missy Lonegrass at Missy.Lonegrass@law.lsu.edu by September 22, 2012.  Any late submissions will be considered on a space available basis only.

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Law Professors Organize

By Scott Burris

Over the past fifty years, law has become an important tool for promoting public health – and a site of dramatic social and political contests.  Public health law has been an integral part of “great achievements” in public health that have saved, or enhanced, millions of lives. Increasingly, however, the public health interventions – and the legal theories and values they stand on – have been under steady, sustained and systematic attack.   Further progress is imperiled, and past gains may be rolled back.

Over the Summer, Wendy Parmet and Leo Beletsky of Northeastern University convened a one-day workshop in Boston, called Advancing Public Health through the Law: The Role of Legal Academics.  A lot of smart people in and out of legal academia participated, and it did not take long to get a consensus  that legal academics, alone and in partnership with practitioners in law and public health, need to be more effective and better coordinated in our work.  Part of this has to do with better understanding the forces lined up against effective health laws, and there was enthusiasm for the idea of moving forward on a coordinated strategy to increase our influence and effectiveness as public health law scholars and advocates.

It is vital to be strategic in the face of well-funded and well-organized political efforts to turn back interventions that can save lives. But our long-term success also requires some looking inward.  As people working in public health, we have to ask whether our division into unconnected silos – er, I mean, pillars of excellence – is sustainable. Are tobacco advocates, and harm reductionists, and obesity fighters cooperating, or competing?  As a broad movement, are we effectively focusing our limited resources, or allowing ourselves to be divided and conquered?  Are we right to assume that the public trusts us and accepts our mission as legitimate?  Is our language, our framing, getting tired?

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Conference Announcement: Institutional Financial Conflicts of Interest in Research Universities

On November 2 at Harvard Law School, the Petrie-Flom Center and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics will be co-sponsoring a day-long symposium organized by Dr. David Korn on institutional financial conflicts of interest in research universities. The speaker line-up is incredible, including Francis Collins, Derek Bok, and Zeke Emanuel, among other experts from academia and government.

For more information, and to register (attendance is free), check out the symposium webpage.  We hope to see you there!


Conference Announcement: Connected Health Symposium 2012

We got an email today announcing the Connected Health Symposium in Boston this October 25-26.  Check out the agenda here.  Elliott Fisher, Professor at The Dartmouth Institute and one of the architects of the concept of “accountable care organizations,” will be discussing why the principles underlying accountable care should help to address the problems confronting US health care.