- Published on Monday, 16 November 2009 14:24
Wendy K. Mariner, professor of health law, bioethics and human rights at the Boston University School of Public Health has been appointed Edward R. Utley Professor in Health Law at Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH).
Mariner's nomination to the endowed professorship by BUSPH Dean Robert Meenan was approved by University Provost David Campbell and BU President Robert Brown. She will succeed Professor George J. Annas, chairman of the Department of Health Law, Bioethics and Human Rights, who vacated the Utley chair in May when he was named a William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor at Boston University. Annas was one of the first two BU faculty members appointed to the Warren Professorship.
"Wendy is superbly qualified for the Utley Professorship based on her outstanding accomplishments and her notable contributions to scholarship, teaching, and service in the field of health law," said Dean Meenan. "It is gratifying as dean to have a faculty member of Wendy's caliber ready to fill the Utley Professorship that was held so ably since 1982 by George Annas. Not only has she demonstrated the excellence required for appointment to a named professorship at Boston University, her work is exactly suited to the goals of the Utley Chair," said Meenan. The chair was established by Edward R. Utley as a "memorial" to his own career in the field of legal medicine (health law).
"It is quite an honor, and a lovely surprise, even to be nominated," said Mariner. "The Utley Professorship represents the highest aspirations in health law scholarship. Professor Annas more than fulfilled those aspirations. It will be a challenge and a joy to pursue further research in this exciting field."
Mariner is well known and highly regarded across the University. She holds secondary academic appointments as professor of law at the School of Law and as professor of socio-medical sciences and community medicine at the School of Medicine. She directs the JD-MPH dual degree program and co-directs the Regulatory Knowledge and Research Ethics section of the BU Clinical and Translational Science Institute. She currently serves as Chair of the BU Faculty Council and, ex officio, as a BU trustee.
Mariner's scholarship explores legal principles governing social responsibility and personal responsibility for health and links health law with human rights theory. Her research bridges constitutional, insurance, privacy and tort law to assess when justice requires individual responsibility for health and when it requires societal measures to prevent harm and provide health care. Her early work analyzed no-fault compensation programs around the world to identify a mechanism for providing care to disabled children, and influenced the development of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
Professor Mariner's recent research concentrates on developing new conceptions of insurance as a mechanism for financing medical care, distributing risk, and changing risk behavior. This work builds on her early insight into the effect of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) on health insurance design and the legal structure for regulating insurance. Faculty and legislators from around the country frequently seek her expertise on ERISA and health insurance reform legislation as a result of her influential analyses.
Her health law research has been published in medical and health policy, as well as law journals. Her textbook, Public Health Law, coauthored with leading scholars George Annas, Boston University School of Public Health; Ken Wing, professor of law at the Seattle University School of Law; and the late Daniel Strouse, a professor of law at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, is the standard text in schools of law and public health.Mariner's teaching excellence has been recognized by her peers across the country. In 2008, she received the Jay Healey Distinguished Health Law Teacher Award from the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics, which includes in its membership virtually all health law faculty in the United States.