By Scott Burris
The latest issue of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law showcases the range of projects and researchers filling out the field of Public Health Law Research. An excellent introduction by the editors, Michelle Mello and Wendy Parmet, says it better than I could, but here’s a taste:
Two studies look at public health policy-making – Abiola et al on HPV vaccination, and VanSickle-Ward and Amanda Hollis-Brusky on statutory ambiguity in contraceptive mandates. Two studies evaluate local legal interventions to address lead poisoning – a sweeping ordinance in Rochester and a novel specialty enforcement court in Philadelphia. Sampat and Amin quantitatively examine the impact of a provision of Indian patent law that was widely expected to prevent evergreening, finding signs that the law on the books may not be working as advertised in practice. Finally, Cannon and colleagues bring new methods and attention to the question of whether zoning laws can deliver better health, in this instance through increasing the walkability of neighborhoods.
The group of authors includes doctors, lawyers, economists, sociologists, historians and health researchers. Mello and Parmet offer some pithy thoughts on what all this shows us about the current state of PHLR’s development. Worth a read.