Protecting Health Privacy is a Royal Pain

Heightened Scrutiny of Your Royal Highness

On Sunday, March 10, tabloids were in quite a frenzy when the British royal family published a photoshopped picture of Catherine, princess of Wales. The hubbub was extra hubbubbly, because this was the first official photo after the princess had abdominal surgery this past January. The order of events caused some people to speculate the edits indicated there was something to hide about the princess’s health status.

Shortly after the public reaction, the princess issued an apology for the edits. Sadly, less than two weeks later, the rumors were confirmed to be true: Princess Catherine did have a health problem. She had been diagnosed with cancer and had commenced preventative chemotherapy. As part of this announcement, Princess Catherine bravely encouraged the public, “For everyone facing this disease in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone.” Read More

College football on grass field in afternoon sunlight

There’s More Than Rules in Regulating Concussions

By Jack Becker

The football world has used a variety of methods to make the sport safer: Compare modern football to football a century ago, when at least 18 people died playing the game in 1905 alone and Teddy Roosevelt had to intervene. In recent years, concussions and brain trauma have become football’s scarlet letter. While leagues have already made changes to prevent brain injuries, there’s more to be done.

This post considers the application of Lawrence Lessig’s New Chicago School approach to regulation to the prevention of concussions (and other types of brain damage generalized under the word “concussions” for simplicity) in football.

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Asking the Right Question about Football

By David Orentlicher
[Cross-posted at HealthLawProf Blog and]

In his New York Times op-ed today, former Denver tight end Nate Jackson explains why the NFL should prefer that its players use marijuana to medicate their pain rather than to rely on prescription drugs that can have serious side effects and promote dangerous addictions. Jackson explains quite effectively why he needed marijuana during his six-year career:

I broke my tibia, dislocated my shoulder, separated both shoulders, tore my groin off the bone once and my hamstring off the bone twice, broke fingers and ribs, tore my medial collateral ligament, suffered brain trauma, etc. Most players have similar medical charts. And every one of them needs the medicine.

But to ask whether players should use marijuana or legal drugs to treat their pain is to ask the wrong question. As I write in a forthcoming symposium on concussion in sports in the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Read More