ML: Health Law and Policy (Fernandez-Lynch)
T 5:30PM - 8:15PM
Silverman Hall 52
Masters in Law
Health Law and Policy is a survey course intended to introduce non-lawyers to a selection of foundational legal issues arising in the U.S. health care system. It is taught as a seminar, meaning it will rely on a combination of lectures and discussion. Grading is based on written assignments and Canvas discussion posts.
The course addresses how statutes, regulations, case law, and other policy levers – across local, state, and federal levels – shape health and health care and influence various stakeholders, including patients, clinicians, payers, institutions, and others. Across topics, we will take a multidisciplinary approach to consider not only what the law is, but also what it should be, relying on insights from bioethics, public health, economics, and other fields. We will also consider the role of health law as a structural determinant of health, both contributing to structural racism and serving as a potential lever to redress its consequences.
Specific course topics include health insurance and reform; regulating the medical profession and clinical relationship; mental health and disability law; legal governance of reproduction and death; public health law; biopharmaceutical pricing and regulation; and human subjects research oversight, among others. Because this is an introductory course, it intentionally aims for breadth over depth; even in breadth, however, it is not intended to be comprehensive. More advanced legal issues related to insurance, health care fraud, antitrust, medical malpractice, and intellectual property should be pursued in specialized courses. Learning Objectives • Understand the role of and relationships between various sources of U.S. health law and policy, including legislatures, agencies, courts, and other institutions, at the federal, state, and local level • Critically analyze and contribute to public debate relevant to selected legal issues arising in the U.S. health care system • Recognize instances in which health law entrenches inequities and identify potential solutions
Additional Information: Skills training: critical analysis, argumentative writing, writing for lay audiences
Grading: 75% written assignments (3 writing assignments or 1 term paper), 25% Canvas response posts. Exceptional class participation can provide a grading boost in close cases at the end of the semester.
Health Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of health law and policy; Perform legal analysis in the context of health law and policy; Communicate effectively on topics related to health law and policy; Demonstrate an understanding of the interconnection among health law and policy and issues of access to services, public and private financing of health industries, and the political and economic issues surrounding issues of health law and health services.
Perspectives on the Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of how the law affects, and is affected by, the individual course topic; Perform legal analysis in the context of the individual course topic; Communicate effectively on the legal and other aspects of the individual course topic; Demonstrate the ability to use other disciplines to analyze legal issues relevant to the individual course topic, including economics, philosophy, and sociology, as appropriate.
Administrative and Regulatory Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of administrative and regulatory law and the administrative process, including the role of statutory authorization and work of administrative agencies; Perform legal analysis in the context of administrative and regulatory law; Communicate effectively on topics related to administrative and regulatory law; Demonstrate an understanding of the role administrative and regulatory law play in our legal system and in society as a whole.