Legal Remedies to Address Stigma-Based Health Inequalities in the United States: Opportunities and Challenges

36 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2019

See all articles by Valarie Blake

Valarie Blake

West Virginia University - College of Law

Mark Hatzenbuehler

Columbia University - Mailman School of Public Health

Date Written: June 20, 2019

Abstract

Stigma is an established driver of population-level health outcomes. Antidiscrimination laws can generate or alleviate stigma and, thus, are a critical component in the study of improving population health.

Currently, antidiscrimination laws are often underenforced and are sometimes conceptualized by courts and lawmakers in ways that are too narrow to fully reach all forms of stigma and all individuals who are stigmatized.

To remedy these limitations, we propose the creation of a new population-level surveillance system of antidiscrimination law and its enforcement, a central body to enforce antidiscrimination laws, as well as a collaborative research initiative to enhance the study of the linkages between health and antidiscrimination law in the future.

Keywords: stigma, antidiscrimination law, civil rights protections, population health

Suggested Citation

Blake, Valarie and Hatzenbuehler, Mark, Legal Remedies to Address Stigma-Based Health Inequalities in the United States: Opportunities and Challenges (June 20, 2019). 97 Milbank Q. 480 (2019), WVU College of Law Research Paper No. 2019-015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3407343

Valarie Blake (Contact Author)

West Virginia University - College of Law ( email )

101 Law School Drive
Morgantown, WV West Virginia 26506
United States

Mark Hatzenbuehler

Columbia University - Mailman School of Public Health ( email )

600 West 168th St., 6th Floor
New York, NY 10032
United States

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