Health Law

We look at the intersection of health and the law, specifically public policy and legislation that impacts American health and care.
Public health law has focused on infectious diseases, environmental toxins and injury prevention. But today, non-communicable disease — cancer, heart disease and diabetes — are the big public health threats.
Michelle Mello
Professor of Health Research and Policy, Profess of Law

Intersection Between Health & Law

David Studdert is a professor of law and professor of medicine and works closely with Michelle Mello, also a law professor of professor of health policy and research. They often publish together. Mello and Studdert commented on California’s tough new vaccination requirements in a New England Journal of Medicine article soon after the law was passed. And within a day of the King v. Burwell case that upheld the Affordable Care Act insurance subsidies, they were among several Law School faculty who blogged about the implications of the Supreme Court’s decision.

They recently published another commentary together about how medical malpractice reform appears to be back on the federal policy agenda with the appointment of Tom Price as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. 

Studdert has taken a hard look at what he believes is a growing the public health epidemic of gun ownership, deaths, and injuries in the United States. Together, they have used data analysis to examine medical malpractice and patient safety. In particular, they have studied the rise of “defensive medicine,” in which physicians order tests and procedures to reduce liability.

Studdert and Mello have taken on some of the stickiest public health questions today, such as a Supreme Court ruling on a Texas abortion law, whether a ban on smoking in public housing is fair and constitutional, and whether the epidemic of obesity in the United States should be tackled through taxes on sugary beverages.

Health, Law, Ethics & Data

David Studdert, Michelle Mello and colleagues at Stanford Law School discuss the wide range of research and academics across the Stanford campus that focuses on how health care and policy are impacted by the law.