The Center for Law in Science and Global Health was established in 1994. It provides leadership, academic courses, academic advising, career counseling, practicums, externships and internships for all of UW Law's health law programs. Health law encompasses a broad range of topics, including government regulation of health law, health care business transactions, finance and reimbursement, telemedicine and ethics.

Our robust curriculum includes over 30 courses in health law and seminars on current topics. We add new health law courses every year so students are well-equipped to obtain jobs and succeed in their careers. Students will have an opportunity to attend area conferences to meet and learn from the best health law lawyers in the northwest, many of whom are nationally recognized in their areas. Seattle has a very large healthcare and biomedical community. We also sponsor and participate in numerous conferences locally, nationally and internationally.

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In December, 2016, the Washington Supreme Court decided the Volk v. DeMeerleer case, 187 Wn.2d 241 (2016). This case dealt with the duty of outpatient mental health providers towards third parties who might be endangered by a patient. In this tragic case, a patient with a long history of mental illness, who had been treated periodically by a psychiatrist, murdered his former girlfriend and her son and then killed himself. The question before the Court was which of two standards to apply with respect to liability: a common law standard derived from prior case law or a later statutory standard that arguably applied only to harm committed by recently released inpatients.

In July 2017, the Washington State Legislature commissioned the Center for Law in Science and Global Health at the University of Washington School of Law to study how Washington’s duty to third parties in the mental health context compares to other states, the evolution of Washington law, the concerns and views of a variety of stakeholders engaged in mental health care and services and the likely impact on Washington state’s mental health care resources.

On December 1, 2017, the Center for Law in Science and Global Health forwarded the finished report to the Legislature. On December 14, 2017, lead researcher Dr. Tanya Karwaki, Professor Patricia Kuszler and Executive Director Terry Price testified at the Legislature about the contents of the report.

The report, the appendices and an addendum to the report are posted below.

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