PBH 254 - Public Health & the Law

Course unit(s): 1
This course will examine the way in which the U.S. legal system has dealt with complex issues involving public health and scientific research.  The course will introduce students to basic principles of law, the federal and state court systems, rules of evidence, class action certification, and the progress of a lawsuit.  Seminal court decisions defining what constitutes scientific reliability will be analyzed, as well as court decisions involving matters as diverse as mandated health care, the ownership of body parts, legal liability for causes of cancers and autism, and copyrighting genomic sequences, plus others.  Students will be challenged to analyze majority and dissenting opinions in significant court decisions, as well as opinions and interpretations in secondary sources, and to write responses to issues involved in current public health controversies.  Both independent and group work will be emphasized.

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