The Center reflects the broadly interdisciplinary nature of the health law field. In the 21st century, the work of the legal, health care, business, social work, scientific, and public policy professionals will be increasingly interdisciplinary in nature. Because health is determined by a complex interplay of biology, genetics, lifestyle, environmental factors, and social conditions, no single profession will be able to adequately address all of society's health needs. Interdisciplinary professional collaboration is needed to address the growing challenges to the public's health and welfare. The Center strives to meet these challenges through interdisciplinary collaboration in all of its core activities.
The Center has six core areas of focus within the very broad field known as "health law." These interdisciplinary areas of focus are represented in both our educational programming and our research initiatives.
The tension between patients’ rights and the obligations of health care professionals has generated national public debates over such issues as the right to refuse treatment, tort reform, abortion and reproductive issues, and medical experiments on human subjects.
Advances in technology have often outpaced society’s ability to respond to the ethical, legal, and societal implications of the fast-growing health sciences fields. Law and ethics are key considerations in new scientific research and development.
The social, economic, and environmental challenges to a community’s health and welfare are increasingly evident, especially in historically under-served populations and in growing urban environments.