“The Morality (and Legality) of Universal Healthcare” with Sharona Hoffman

Episode 9:

Originally broadcast: October 12, 2009

Very few issues are more on the American mind than health care right now. But what are the philosophical issues behind the politics? Does the state have a moral obligation to provide health care to others? Do citizens have the duty to pay for it? And given that the constitution is silent on the question of health care, what is the relationship between legality and morality? Sharona Hoffman will join us to ask these and other timely questions for what is bound to be a controversial but exciting show.

Sharona Hoffman is a Professor of Law and Bioethics and Co-Director of the Law-Medicine Center. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and an LL.M. in health law from the University of Houston.

In 2007, Sharona spent four months as a guest researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) working on liability and immunity issues related to public health emergencies. She has also been appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to serve as a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for CDC’s Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response during 2008-2012. She has published over forty articles, most of which focus on health law and civil rights law. Her research interests include disability discrimination, biomedical research, health care coverage, race and medicine, health information technology, and emergency preparedness.

Why?’s host Jack Russell Weinstein says, “This is an issue that goes to the heart of what we need not only for America but for the modern world, and there is no one better to discuss it with than someone who has legs in both the legal and medical worlds. I’m tremendously excited to have someone as interesting as Sharona to talk with.”

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