Recently, researchers from across the Max Planck Law network met to discuss the formation of an Initiative around a subject of mutual interest, namely health law. Christian Günther, PhD candidate and one of the Initiative’s principal contacts, states that one of the main inspirations was, in fact, the Initiative on ‘Pandemic Decision-making‘, which successfully came to term upon publication of its outcomes in a major journal in 2022.
‘Pandemic Decision-making’ demonstrated that operating within the framework of a Max Planck Law Initiative facilitated deeper collaboration amongst researchers. Additionally, with the support of Max Planck Law, their horizons were widened by the ability to set their own agenda and to publish outcomes trans-Institutionally. In the new Initiative, they hope to continue to think beyond the ‘silo’, to bundle their resources, to exchange ideas, to provide a platform from which to invite speakers, and to conceive new projects that could eventually lead to specific research outcomes.
At the end of their meeting, the researchers settled on the new Initiative’s name: ‘Law, Health, and the Life Sciences’. Why this name and not simply ‘Health Law’?
Günther explains that health law or medical law is often associated with the interactions of medical professionals within a legal framework, for example, between a doctor and a patient or between a doctor and an institution. The new Initiative has a much broader, holistic, and interdisciplinary interest capable of tackling questions such as: How do drugs get supplied? What are the consequences for intellectual property? How is the health system organized? What is the role of AI? What are the international obligations that ensue? etc
For more information on the Law, Health, and the Life Sciences Initiative and to contact the organizers, see the Initiative web page.