Civil Justice - Focus on Health
America has a civil justice gap.
The difference between the number of people who need legal services for civil issues and the few who receive help of any kind is big and growing bigger. The civil justice gap is especially dangerous in matters related to healthcare. The most common and pressing health care issues are
- Problems related to Medicare, private insurance, and long-term health facilities
- Issues related to drug addiction
- Unmet needs of people with disabilities
- Harmful effects of other problems, like inadequate housing, unemployment, or issues related to military service
A publication issued by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Civil Justice for All, examines the civil justice gap and makes recommendations to increase access to legal aid, including improvements that would be especially helpful in matters related to health care:
- A broader definition of “health” to include social determinants like housing conditions and employment
- More collaboration between the law and other professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and social workers
- New sources of funding for medical-legal partnerships, including health care providers
Read the full report with its seven overall recommendations here.
Specific recommendations and case studies at the intersection of health care and civil justice are here.
Learn about the Making Justice Accessible initiative here.
Civil Justice for All - Health Committee
John G. Levi (Cochair)
Chairman, Legal Services Corporation;
Partner, Sidley Austin LLP
Allison Rice (Cochair)
Director, Health Justice Clinic,
Director of the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
Adjunct Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Education
Chairman and CEO, Merck & Co., Inc.
William C. Hubbard
Dean, University of South Carolina School of Law
Principal Investigator and Lead Research Scientist; Codirector, National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership, George Washington University
Statewide Pro Bono Manager, Legal Aid Services of Oregon
Dayna Bowen Matthew
Dean and Harold H. Greene Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School
Executive Director, Colorado Cross-
Director and Founder of LegalHealth
Executive Director, Health Law Advocates
Director and Associate Professor of Public Health, Moravian College
Michele S. Warman
Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel, and Secretary, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation