The Slow Transition of U.S. Law Toward a Greater Emphasis on Prevention

PREVENTION VS. TREATMENT: PHILOSOPHICAL, EMPIRICAL AND CULTURAL REFLECTIONS, Chapter 10, Halley S. Faust, Paul T. Menzel, eds., Oxford Univ. Press, 2011

Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-01

52 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2011 Last revised: 6 Nov 2013

Thaddeus Mason Pope

Mitchell Hamline School of Law; Queensland University of Technology - Australian Health Law Research Center; Saint Georges University; Alden March Bioethics Institute

Abstract

United States law has long emphasized treatment over prevention. Only over the past decade have legal measures begun to materially target many of the root causes of morbidity and mortality. This revitalization of public health law is long overdue. But it presents difficult (and, as yet, largely unanswered) ethical and policy questions.

This Chapter has four primary aims. First, it describes the traditional neglect of public health law. Second, it describes a built-in bias of the common law toward treatment over prevention. Third, this Chapter describes many of the most notable recent legal developments that increasingly emphasize the prevention, rather than the medical treatment, of health problems. Fourth, this Chapter examines normative problems raised both by these new, more paternalistic public health laws and by others that are likely to follow.

Keywords: prevention, health, public health, treatment, health law, ethics, health policy, tort law

JEL Classification: K32, I18

Suggested Citation

Pope, Thaddeus Mason, The Slow Transition of U.S. Law Toward a Greater Emphasis on Prevention. PREVENTION VS. TREATMENT: PHILOSOPHICAL, EMPIRICAL AND CULTURAL REFLECTIONS, Chapter 10, Halley S. Faust, Paul T. Menzel, eds., Oxford Univ. Press, 2011; Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1734405

Thaddeus Mason Pope (Contact Author)

Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )

875 Summit Avenue
Room 320
Saint Paul, MN 55105
United States
651-695-7661 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.thaddeuspope.com

Queensland University of Technology - Australian Health Law Research Center ( email )

2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Australia

Saint Georges University ( email )

West Indies
Grenada

HOME PAGE: http://www.thaddeuspope.com

Alden March Bioethics Institute ( email )

47 New Scotland Ave
MC 153
Albany, NY 12208
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.thaddeuspope.com

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