Health Policy Scholarship

A hallmark of the Epstein Health Law & Policy program is that we do not do programming for programming's sake.  The Annual symposium gathers leading thinkers and voices to add new insights to the scholarship around health status, healthcare delivery, and social determinants of health.  Books and symposium issues are now emerging from these early efforts, which will prime the pump for new rounds of cutting-edge scholarship.

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The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 

Our November 2017 conference on the Medicalization of Poverty brought together experts in medicine, law, policy, and ethics to explore the connection between poverty, disease burden, and healthcare expenditures. This Symposium is one sustaining effort from that gathering of experts.  It is well documented that a number of diseases are strongly linked to poverty, and poverty is a strong predictor of health status. But a second aspect of poverty is less well-explored—that we have medicalized poverty. We spend inordinate amounts of money and other resources to address healthcare needs brought on by poverty instead of providing for the tangible needs of the poor before illness strikes. We treat the symptom, not the problem. This Symposium considers “How can we do better? And what role can law and policy play?” It features a who’s who of leading health law scholars, as well as newer voices as a result of a national call for papers.

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The Contested Place of Religion in Family Law

Like many beliefs, religious views matter across an individual's life and the life cycle of a family - from birth to marriage, through child-rearing, and, eventually, death. This volume examines clashes over religious liberty within the personal realm of the family.

These clashes often involve medical decision making—from whether religious circumcision of children poses a public health risk to the consequences for children of faith healing and other child-rearing practices to whether the religious values of healthcare providers should be respected, especially if the provider occupies a choke point on access to needed services.

Against swirling religious beliefs, secular values, and legal regulation, this volume offers a forward-looking examination of tensions between religious freedom and the state's protective function. Contributors unpack some of the Court's recent decisions and explain how they set the stage for ongoing disputes. They evaluate religious claims around birth control, modesty, circumcision, religious education, marriage, polygamy, shared parenting, corporal punishment, faith healing, divorce, and the end of life. Authors span legislators, attorneys, academics, journalists, ministers, physicians, child advocates, and representatives of minority faiths. The Contested Place of Religion in Family Law begins an overdue conversation on questions dividing the nation.

See a discussion on the book at Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs at Georgetown University.