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Lawrence Gostin, JD

Director, Center for Law and the Public's Health (CDC Collaborating Center Promoting Health Through Law)

Contact Information

Georgetown University Law Center, 600 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001
Baltimore , Maryland

(202) 662-9373
(202) 662-4112


JD , Duke University


Public health law and ethics; health law and ethics; AIDS and the law.

Honors and Awards

Lawrence Gostin is an internationally recognized scholar in law and public health. He is Professor of Law at Georgetown University; Professor of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University; and the Director of the Center for Law & the Public's Health at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities (CDC Collaborating Center APromoting Public Health Through Law"). ( He is Research Fellow at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Oxford University. Professor Gostin is an elected lifetime Member of the Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Sciences (IOM/NAS). For the IOM/NAS, he serves on the Board on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, the Institutional Review Board, and three expert study committees, including the Committee on Assuring the Health of the Public in the 21st Century. He is also an elected lifetime Fellow of the Hastings Center. He is appointed by the Secretary for Health and Human Services to serve on the Advisory Council of the Office of AIDS Research, National Institutes of Health. Professor Gostin also consults for the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, and the Council of International Organizations for Medical Sciences. Professor Gostin is the Health Law and Ethics Editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). He is also on the editorial board of scholarly journals. Professor Gostin has lead major law reform initiatives for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (The Model State Public Health Information Privacy Law) and a consortium of states (The "Turning Point" Public Health Statute Modernization Project to draft a Model Public Health Law). In the wake of September 11th, 2001, The Center for Law and the Public's Health drafted of the Model Emergency Health Powers Act (MEHPA) to combat bioterrorism and other emerging health threats. Professor Gostin was a member of the President's Task Force on National Health Care Reform. His principal areas of work on the President's Task Force were on the ethical foundations of the new health care system, public health, and privacy (chair). Professor Gostin was formerly Executive Director of the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics and adjunct Professor of Law and Public Health at Harvard University. In the United Kingdom, Professor Gostin was the Chief Executive of the National Council for Civil Liberties, Legal Director of the National Association of Mental Health, and faculty member of Oxford University. Professor Gostin received the Rosemary Delbridge Memorial Award from the National Consumer Council (U.K.) for the person "who has most influenced Parliament and government to act for the welfare of society." He also received the Key to Tohoko University (Japan) for distinguished contributions to human rights in mental health. Professor Gostin's latest books are both published by the University of California Press and the Milbank Memorial Fund: Public Health Law: Power, Duty, Restraint (2000) and Public Health Law and Ethics: A Reader (2002).
  • Books

  • LAWRENCE O. GOSTIN, THE AIDS PANDEMIC: COMPLACENCY, INJUSTICE, AND UNFULFILLED EXPECTATIONS (University of North Carolina Press, Forthcoming 2003) (Foreword by the Hon. Michael Kirby, Supreme Court Justice of Australia).

  • STANLEY S. HERR, LAWRENCE O. GOSTIN, HAROLD HONGJU KOH, EDS., THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES: DIFFERENT BUT EQUAL (Oxford University Press, Forthcoming 2003) (Foreword by Mary Robinson, Former Prime Minister of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights).

  • LAWRENCE O. GOSTIN, PUBLIC HEALTH LAW AND ETHICS: A READER (University of California Press and Milbank Memorial Fund, 2002).

  • LAWRENCE O. GOSTIN, PUBLIC HEALTH LAW: POWER, DUTY, RESTRAINT (University of California Press and Milbank Memorial Fund, 2000).