The Future of Human Rights and Justice-Centered Ethics in Epidemic Response: From HIV to COVID and Beyond Conference

November 2, 2023 11:30 AM - 5:30 PM

UCLA’s Health Law and Policy Program is pleased to present The Future of Human Rights and Justice-Centered Ethics in Epidemic Response: From HIV to COVID and Beyond conference. This initiative brings together researchers, community organization leaders, and current and former health officials to discuss legal and governance mechanisms for ensuring that measures adopted to mitigate the impacts of epidemics are consistent with human rights and justice-centered public health ethics. It is cosponsored by the Health Science Center, School of Law, and School of Medicine of Texas A&M University, and by the Williams Institute and the Promise Institute for Human Rights.

In the decades following the emergence of HIV, advocates shaped the development of health law and policy by arguing for reforms to ensure that compulsory public health measures and legal regimes governing access to medicines were consistent with human rights protections and ethical values. The standards and procedures they championed (with partial success) emphasized the importance of individualized risk assessments, use of the least restrictive alternative, provision of supportive services, privacy and antidiscrimination protections, and affirmative rights to access treatment. During the Covid pandemic, policymakers relied heavily on measures that put the onus on individuals to change their behaviors, often in the absence of adequate legal protections or supports. Moreover, existing legal mechanisms and ethical frameworks were insufficient to ensure equitable distribution of PPE, diagnostics, vaccines, and treatments within the United States and globally. Amid ongoing efforts to reform international, national, state, local, tribal, and territorial laws, this initiative aims to develop, disseminate, and implement ethical and human rights frameworks to guide the future of epidemic response.

The Initiative Co-Chairs are Lindsay F. Wiley and William Sage.


Flyer for event: The Future of Epidemic Response Conference