This article reviews the field of public health law research and its progress in both methodological rigor and in identifying sources of data.
Over the last five years, public health law research (PHLR) has achieved recognition as a field. Combining empirical legal studies, public health law scholarship, and health services research, PHLR works to understand how law can be used to advance public health goals.
This Editor’s Introduction to the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law reviews the field of PHLR and highlights the key findings of the studies included in this issue.
- Using qualitative methods to investigate the political dynamics surrounding human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination policy-making.
- Creating walkable neighborhoods utilizing mixed used zoning is one strategy to improve the health of a community.
- Applying the political-science theory to the study of public health lawmaking is discussed in this paper, as well as how law can be used as quantitative data.
- Addressing lead-exposure in homes by creating a lead court has improved property-owner compliance in Philadelphia.
- Using a quantitative approach, this study looks at the impact of safeguards in Indian patent laws.
- Analyzing recent local lead laws to reduce lead hazards may help to inform future local policy innovations.
Overall, this issue shows that progress has been made in the methodological rigor of the field and in identifying sources of data. However, translating PHRL into practice and funding for PHLR remain major concerns.