Professor Wendy Parmet, a leading expert on health, disability and public health law, directs the law school’s JD/MPH program with Tufts University School of Medicine as well as the Program on Health Policy and Law. In the spring of 2003, she was named a Matthews Distinguished University Professor, an award that recognizes and furthers the scholarly and creative activities of prominent Northeastern University faculty.  In 2015, Professor Parmet was appointed a joint (with law) member of the faculty of Northeastern University’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs in recognition of her national leadership in interdisciplinary thinking and problem solving on issues related to health care. She is also a co-editor of the law school’s SSRN online publications, Human Rights and the Global Economy and the Northeastern University School of Law Public Law and Legal Theory Paper Series. 

Professor Parmet teaches Public Health Law, Health Law and Torts, and has published articles on public health, bioethics, discrimination, health law and AIDS law. She is co-author of Ethical Health Care (Prentice Hall, 2005), Debates on U.S. Health Care (Sage Press, 2012) and author of Populations, Public Health, and the Law (Georgetown University Press, 2009).

Formerly an associate with the Boston firm of Hill & Barlow, Professor Parmet clerked with Chief Judge Levin H. Campbell of the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. She is a member of the board of directors (and a past president of the board) of Health Law Advocates and a member of the Board of Directors of Health Care for All. Previously she has served as Secretary for the Public Health Law Association and as a member of the ABA's AIDS Coordinating Committee and Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law. 

In 1998, Professor Parmet acted as co-counsel in Bragdon v. Abbott, the first AIDS/HIV case to come before the US Supreme Court under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Professor Parmet’s client, Sidney Abbott, had been refused treatment by her dentist when she revealed her HIV-positive status, although she was asymptomatic. The high court said that because she was infected with HIV, she was entitled to the protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 2012 Professor Parmet was lead counsel in Finch v. Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority in which the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found that a state law denying state subsidized health insurance to legal immigrants was unconstitutional. 

Fields of Expertise

  • Bioethics
  • Civil Rights
  • Constitutional Law
  • Disability Law
  • First Amendment
  • Health Law
  • Medical Issues
  • Public Health Law
  • Torts

Selected Works


  • Populations, Public Health, and the Law (Georgetown University Press, 2009)
  • Ethical Health Care (Prentice Hall, 2006) (with Patricia Illingworth)

Selected Articles

Selected Chapters

  • “Social Determinants, Health Disparities and the Role of Law,” (with Lauren A. Smith and Meredith A. Benedict) Poverty, Health and Law: Readings and Cases on Medical Legal Partnerships, ed. Elizabeth Tobin Tyler et al., Carolina Academic Press, 2011
  • “Beyond Privacy:  A Population Approach to Reproductive Rights,” Social Issues, Welfare Consequences and Public Health Law, John Culhane ed., Cambridge University Press, 2010
  • “Pharmaceuticals, Public Health, and the Law: A Public Health Perspective,” The Power of Pills. Cohen et al, eds. London, 2006

Selected Commentary