Title

Public Health and Law: Past and Future Visions

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

6-2003

ISSN

0361-6878

Publisher

Duke University Press

Language

en-US

Abstract

What is public health law and why does it matter? Answering those questions is harder than it may appear. The field of public health itself is wide ranging enough to make most general descriptions either incomplete or soporific. Public health law, the applied field of law that draws upon an equally extensive range of bodies of law that govern public health concerns, presents a similar, but distinct, challenge. This essay examines how public health has outgrown its traditional self-definition and considers what this means for the role of law applied to public health. In particular, the essay argues that conflating the goals of public health and law mistakenly undermines the independent value of each.

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