University of Michigan School of Public Health to Host Symposium Honoring Professor Wendy Parmet’s Populations, Public Health, and the Law

The George Consortium — a national group of leading public health scholars — will hold a symposium at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor on April 17, 2015, to honor Matthews Distinguished University Professor of Law Wendy Parmet’s book Populations, Public Health, and the Law. A member of the Northeastern University School of Law faculty, Parmet is one of the nation’s top public health law experts. Former US Surgeon General Richard Carmona will deliver the keynote speech.

“Among other notable aspects of this book, Professor Parmet argues for reanimating the consideration of population health perspectives in legal and policy discourse,” said symposium organizer Professor of Health Law and Policy Peter Jacobson, who directs the University of Michigan’s Center for Law, Ethics and Health and is president of the Public Health Law Association. “Her insights have considerable implications for public health practice and policy, which we explore in the symposium.”

The symposium’s objective is to build on Parmet’s book, which lays a foundation for new approaches to public health law. At a time of increasing opposition to public health interventions, the symposium organizers plan to address fundamental questions about the future direction of public health law in securing basic public health protections. In particular, the symposium will discuss ways of responding to recent judicial trends that impose limits on health officials’ ability to protect the population’s health.

For example, discussions may consider how libertarian and paternalism arguments are used to limit the scope of public health regulations designed to create healthy environments and support healthy behaviors.  

While the symposium is by invitation only, the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law will issue a special volume with the articles presented at the symposium. The volume will include articles from those presenting at the symposium as well commentaries from practitioners and potential critics.

The symposium is sponsored by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Public Health Law Research Program and the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

About the George Consortium

The George Consortium is dedicated to strengthening the capacity of academics, practitioners and advocates working to advance public health through law. One of the Consortium’s goals is to provide strategies for state and local health officials in using law effectively to improve the public’s health.

About the University of Michigan School of Public Health

The University of Michigan School of Public Health seeks to create and disseminate knowledge with the aim of preventing disease and promoting the health of populations worldwide. Among its many honors, it is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the #4 public health school in the United States and the #1 health management and policy program in the United States.

About Northeastern University School of Law

The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country and is a national leader in legal education reform. Founded with cooperative legal education as the cornerstone of its program, Northeastern guarantees its students an unparalleled full year of practical legal work. All students participate in four, full-time legal placements, and can choose from the more than 900 employers worldwide participating in the school’s signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. The future of legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experience to successfully practice law. It is ranked as the #17 law school for Health Care Law by U.S. News & World Report.