Health Care & Civil Rights Seminar
Although there exist in the U.S. pervasive and persistent disparities in health status and access to health care based on race/ethnicity, gender, disability status and socio-economic status, among other demographic factors, to date the law has played a relatively modest role in addressing those areas of inequality. This seminar provides students with an opportunity to explore in depth topics relating to the law’s responses (and potential responses) to health inequality. Topics might include, simply by way of example, the obligation of health care providers to provide sign language interpreters for deaf patients; how FDA approval of racially tailored pharmaceuticals implicates equality; or the civil rights implications of limitations on coverage for contraceptives. The seminar will not be limited to examining civil rights laws as devices for addressing health inequality, but will also examine how health care reform legislation, public health regulation, and other areas of law may have some remedial force with respect to health inequality. Over the course of the semester, each student will complete a seminar paper and will be responsible for presenting their paper as a “work in progress” to the class and for providing feedback to other students on their works in progress. In addition, each student will be assigned one class meeting during the semester for which the student will have responsibility for helping to lead class discussion.