Call for papers: "Health Law as Private Law," Petrie-Flom Center (Harvard Law School), June 2023
August 17, 2022
We have another call for papers from a conference in which I've proudly participated in the past (2014), this one on the subject of "Health Law as Private Law" presented by the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School. and to be held in late June 2023. From the conference description:
In the pursuit of public health and universal coverage, health law scholars have long focused on the role of government, and especially the federal government. Yet, whether it is health plan coverage of reproductive services or exclusions of gender affirming care, consumer medical debt or physician practice agreements, hospital mergers or private equity acquisitions, medical negligence waivers or informed consent violations – U.S. healthcare is also substantially governed by private relations, enforced by law. Is private law – the law circumscribing the relations between individuals and institutions – a pathology or a potential fix for the U.S. health care system? In what ways might private law be used as a catalyst for health care reform, separate from federal or state initiatives?
Since at least Kenneth Arrow’s Nobel Prize-winning work in economics, we have understood that there are clear market failures in health care, including agency problems, collective action problems, and information problems. Clarity on these problems can motivate reform. At the very least, understanding the limits of the private law approaches, including those imposed by legislation, regulation, and litigation – sheds light on the potential opportunities for structural reform.
This conference seeks to explore the intersection of private law and health care, especially regarding how private law can be a tool for achieving health care reform or addressing a significant health care or public health problem. Overall, this conference and subsequent book project seek to map out the challenges and opportunities of using private law and the tools it provides to govern and shape our health care system. Contributions that explore the interaction of government initiatives and regulatory reform with private law actions in the health care space are within the scope of this project as long as the contributions focus on the private law aspects.
More details, including suggested topics and submission details (one-page abstracts due October 17, 2022), can be found at the Petrie-Flom website.