Public Health Law and Ethics: A Reader

Public Health Law and Ethics: A Reader

Public Health Law and Ethics: A Reader

Public Health Law and Ethics: A Reader


This incisive selection of government reports, scholarly articles, and court cases is designed to illuminate the ethical, legal, and political issues in the theory and practice of public health. A companion to the internationally acclaimed "Public Health Law: Power, Duty, Restraint, "this collection encourages debate and discourse about how courts, scholars, and policy makers respond to the salient legal and ethical dilemmas. The excerpts and commentaries in the reader analyze the legal and constitutional foundations of public health, juxtaposing them with the emerging importance of public health ethics and human rights. The book offers a systematic account of public health law, ethics, and human rights in promoting the common good.

Gostin provides thoughtful commentary on the field of public health and carefully explains the meaning and importance of each selection. Scholars, legislators, and public health professionals, as well as faculty and students in schools of law, public health, medicine, nursing,,government, and health administration, will benefit from the contemporary case studies covering a wide range of topics from bioterrorism to public health genetics.


The Milbank Memorial Fund is an endowed national foundation that engages in nonpartisan analysis, study, research, and communication on significant issues in health care and public health. The fund makes available the results of its work in meetings with decision-makers, reports, articles, and books.

The purpose of the Fund's publishing partnership with the University of California Press is to encourage the synthesis and communication of findings from research and experience that could contribute to more effective health policy. The two volumes by Lawrence O. Gostin published by the Fund and the Press achieve this goal.

In 2000, the Fund and the Press published Gostin's Public Health Law: Power, Duty, Restraint. Reviewers of the manuscript of that book suggested we also publish a reader that could be used independently or as a companion to the first volume.

Gostin brings to both books vast experience as a lawyer and legal scholar on public health issues. For many years, in both the United Kingdom and the United States, Gostin has been a lawyer's lawyer as well as an adviser to policy makers on the most controversial issues in public health law. This combination of scholarship and experience leads Gostin to propose that public health law should be an instrument for developing as well as implementing public policy. In Public Health Law he offers a critical analysis and synthesis of law and science that . . .

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