this web site

This site is no longer being updated; access to material contained here is for archival purposes only. Please see the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Law for current information on health concerns facing the world.
To provide readers with the most comprehensive
and timely information possible, I have launched a companion web site to complement the Reader. This site is made possible with the generous support of the Milbank Memorial Fund. The Reader web site is designed to greatly enhance your reading experience and to provide an important resource for public health law students, scholars, practitioners, and educators. Throughout the text, readers are referred to materials posted
on this site. The contents of the site are keyed to the chapters of the
Reader, and include:

  • Full-text versions of selected court cases excerpted in the Reader
  • Selected articles and reports discussed or cited in the Reader
  • Recent public health law cases, statutes, regulations, and news updates
  • Links to other sites and electronic resources of interest.

and learning with the Reader

Public Health Law and Ethics: A Reader
provides a discussion and analysis of critical problems at the interface
of law, ethics, and public health. It is intended as a stand-alone text
and offers a detailed commentary that defines a public health problem
in each chapter, frames, the relevant questions, and introduces the selected
readings. The commentary also provides additional resources, many of which
are included on this web site, for readers interested in further pursuing
the subject matter in the chapter.

The Reader can also be used as a companion to the book Public
Health Law: Power, Duty, and Restraint.
This book offers a theory
and definition of public health law, an explanation of its principal analytical
methodologies, and an analysis of the major conflicts in public health
theory and practice. The books are designed to be used together: The treatise
provides a careful description an analysis of public health law, while
the Reader offers cases and materials that provoke debate and informed
discussion. The two books (used separately or as companions) provide resources
for research, teaching academic courses and seminars, professional practice,
and thinking about fascinating problems in public health theory and daily

Faculty in schools of law, public health, medicine, nursing, and public
administration have adopted Public Health Law: Power, Duty, Restraint
for courses and seminars on public health law and/or ethics. Some instructors
will prefer to use the Reader alone in their classes. Still others
will used both books, as I do at Georgetown. Regardless of how they are
used, this web site and its resources will enhance both teaching and learning.

If faculty members choose both books, the main text offers an accessible
description and analysis of the field, while the Reader provides
supplemental cases and articles. The table below provides a basis for
building a course syllabus. One column contains the chapter headings for
Public Health Law: Power, Duty, Restraint, and the other column
contains the corresponding chapters in the Reader and this web

I would be greatly interested in hearing how you use these two books and
this web site in your own teaching. Please feel free to contact me at

Lawrence O. Gostin
August 2002

Model syllabi using the Reader and Public
Health Law: Power, Duty, Restraint

  • Georgetown
    University Law Center, Fall 2002
  • Washington
    College of Law (American University), Spring 2003