By Scott Burris
Two thoughts for the Friday following the 2012 APHA Annual Meeting:
(1) This is a public service message for public health lawyers and their extra-disciplinary significant others.
The American Public Health Association now has a Health Law Section. This is a big step up, in organizational terms. Until this year, health lawyers and those interested in public health law were just a special primary interest group (really, that’s what they called them at APHA – a SPIG.) As a section, we have more opportunities to recruit members and fill presentation slots, and a greater voice in association governance.
That’s not the best part. The best part is that the officers behind the section and its elevation are all dynamic and mostly young. They’ve got energy and vision, which is going to make this section an exciting one to belong to. They are making the case within the association and beyond for the importance of law to health, and they are taking a multi-disciplinary view. The section is bringing together legal practitioners in public health, normative legal scholars, and empirical public health law researchers.