Journal Article

Concussions and youth football: using a public health law framework to head off a potential public health crisis

Christine M. Baugh and Zachary E. Shapiro

in Journal of Law and the Biosciences

Published on behalf of Harvard University Law School

Volume 2, issue 2, pages 449-458
Published in print July 2015 |
Published online May 2015 | e-ISSN: 2053-9711 | DOI:

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  • Medical and Healthcare Law
  • Bioethics


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Concussion from sport is increasingly recognized as a public health priority. In response, all states and the District of Columbia have enacted youth concussion legislation. This paper first examines key developments in concussion-related policy and legislation and then uses the findings from recent scientific studies to highlight the need to incorporate evolving scientific evidence into concussion legislation in order to better protect youth and adolescent athletes. Next, the paper discusses the framework of empirical health law research and why it should be applied in the case of concussion legislation. Finally, this paper argues that empirical health law research should be considered in any decision about whether legislation can help improve the health and safety of young players, a particularly vulnerable population whose unique needs have not yet been adequately addressed.

Keywords: concussion; health policy; public health law; sport; youth

Journal Article.  4976 words. 

Subjects: Medical and Healthcare Law ; Bioethics

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