Medicine and Public Health: Crossing Legal Boundaries

32 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2007

See all articles by Wendy K. Mariner

Wendy K. Mariner

Boston University School of Public Health; Boston University - School of Law


In 2006, New York City began a mandatory reporting system for laboratories to submit blood sugar (A1c) test results (primarily for diabetes) to the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene without the patient's consent. This article examines whether this new program is an innovative way to improve New Yorkers' health, an invasion of medical privacy, or usurpation of the physician's role. The registry is an example of public health initiatives in chronic diseases, which challenge the limits of laws governing medicine care and public health programs by blurring the historical boundaries between them.

Keywords: Health law, public health, privacy, diabetes

Suggested Citation

Mariner, Wendy K., Medicine and Public Health: Crossing Legal Boundaries. Journal of Health Care Law & Policy, Vol. 10, No. 1, p. 121, 2007, Boston Univ. School of Law Working Paper No. 07-13, Available at SSRN:

Wendy K. Mariner (Contact Author)

Boston University School of Public Health ( email )

715 Albany Street
Boston, MA 02118
United States
617-358-3160 (Phone)
617-414-1464 (Fax)

Boston University - School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

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