Reciprocity and Neuroscience in Public Health Law

In Michael Freeman (ed.), Law and Neuroscience. Oxford University Press (2011)
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Abstract

There is an underdeveloped potential for using neuroscience as a particular input in the process of law-making. This paper examines one such instance in the area of public health law. Neuroscience could play an important role in elucidating and strengthening the relevance of the conditions underlying and re-enforcing our ability to cooperate in balancing the benefits and burdens necessary to achieve particular goods; for instance, the protection of public health in an outbreak of pandemic influenza. In particular, I shall focus on how a better understanding of the neurobiological basis of reciprocity could be used to help increase support and compliance with public heath laws—especially those involving restrictive measures (such as quarantine and isolation).

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