Introduction, Populations, Public Health and the Law

5 Pages Posted: 29 May 2009

See all articles by Wendy E. Parmet

Wendy E. Parmet

Northeastern University - School of Law

Date Written: May 27, 2009


Law plays a crucial role in protecting the health of populations. Whether the public health threat is bioterrorism, pandemic influenza, obesity, or lung cancer, law is an essential tool for addressing the problem. Yet for many decades, courts and lawyers have frequently overlooked law’s critical importance to public health. Populations, Public Health, and the Law demonstrates why public health protection is a vital objective for the law and presents a new population-based approach to legal analysis that can help law achieve its public health mission while remaining true to its own core values. The Introduction presents the challenges that public health presents for legal analysis as well as why it is critical that that legal analysis keep population health in mind. The subsequent chapters expand that discussion and apply population-based legal analysis to federalism, due process, commercial speech, tort law, health law and international human rights law, while at public health issues that include food safety, pandemic preparedness, tuberculosis, and death and dying.

Suggested Citation

Parmet, Wendy E., Introduction, Populations, Public Health and the Law (May 27, 2009). Georgetown University Press, 2009, Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 35-2009, Available at SSRN:

Wendy E. Parmet (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - School of Law ( email )

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