Online Program

Defining Legal Epidemiology

Monday, November 2, 2015

Tara Ramanathan, JD, MPH, Public Health Law Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Public health law today has roots both in law and science: for more than a century, lawyers have helped develop and implement health laws; in the past fifty years, scientific evaluation of the health impact of laws and legal practices has achieved a high level of rigor and influence. We describe a “transdisciplinary” model of public health law to unite these two traditions.  The work of conceptualizing, implementing and evaluating laws to change behaviors and environments entails the use of the same general scientific skills and methods used in the deployment of other modes of intervention in public health.  We call this “legal epidemiology,” defined as “the scientific study of law as a factor in the cause, distribution and prevention of disease in a population.” This presentation is part of the proposed workshop/panel presentation entitled: Measuring Laws’ Impacts on Health: Opportunities in Legal Epidemiology (Abstract #336275). In my portion of this presenatation, I will define legal epidemiology, characerterize its origins, and describe PHLP efforts in this area.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Define Legal Epidemiology Discuss CDC's Public Health Law Program Legal Epidemiology initiative

Keyword(s): Law, Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Tara Ramanathan serves as a public health analyst with the CDC’s Public Health Law Program (PHLP), where she specializes in state and local government law related to emerging public health issues. She leads PHLP’s efforts to promote legal epidemiology and oversees research projects on healthcare quality and financing and health information technology. She earned her M.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and J.D. from Emory University School of Law.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.