Myth 1 is: Cancer is just a health issue.
Truth: Cancer is not just a health issue. It has wide-reaching social, economic, development, and human rights implications.So it's not all up to our neighbors in the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Public Health.
The law can come into play in many ways. For instance:
- Environmental law can limit exposure to known carcinogens.
- Various laws can reduce access to tobacco (through restricting advertising, banning sale to minors, and taxing).
- Insurance law affects what screenings are available to improve early detection. And the Affordable Care Act affects who is insured.
- Law affects who will have access to treatment (and to what treatment).
- Discrimination law may protect people from being fired (or not being hired) based on their having cancer or being at risk for cancer.
- Employment law affects who can take time off work because of their own cancer or to care for a family member who has cancer.
- Malpractice law provides some remedy for people whose cancer was not appropriately treated by their medical professionals.
- Intellectual property law affects what pharmaceuticals and treatments are developed and how they are distributed.
- Cancer Legal Resource Center (part of the Disability Rights Legal Center at Loyola LA)
- Questions and Answers About Cancer in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (from the EEOC)
- Womens' Health & Cancer Rights Protections (from U.S. Dep't of Labor)
Here are a few recent papers from SSRN, a site where authors can post their papers for others to find and download:
- Magnusson, Roger, Gostin, Lawrence O. and Studdert, David M., Can Law Improve Prevention and Treatment of Cancer? (November 4, 2011). Public Health, Forthcoming; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/88; Georgetown Law and Economics Research Paper No. 11-29; Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 11-137. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1954470
- Magnusson, Roger, Using a Legal and Regulatory Framework to Evaluate and Improve Cancer Prevention (October 27, 2011). Public Health, Forthcoming; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/78. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1950456
- Trubek, Louise G., Oliver, Thomas R. , Liang, Chih-Ming, Mokrohisky, Matthew and Campbell, Toby Christopher, How Regulatory Frameworks Fight Cancer: Two Examples from the United States and the European Union (August 25, 2010). Journal of Health Care Law and Policy, Vol. 14, 2010; University of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1128. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1665187
- Beaglehole, Robert, Bonita, Ruth and Magnusson, Roger, Global Cancer Prevention: An Important Pathway to Global Health and Development (October 27, 2011). Public Health, Forthcoming; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/77. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1950453