Creighton’s annual law review symposium discussed inequality in healthcare on Thursday, March 7. This year’s symposium, titled “Inequities and Injustice in Healthcare,” took place in the Harper Center and was open to the public.

The seven-hour event held by Creighton’s School of Law featured speakers from Creighton and around the U.S. Each of the three sessions in the event focused on a different topic regarding the inequalities in healthcare and was moderated by a different faculty member from Creighton’s law school.

Andrew Almodova, editor in chief of the Creighton Law Review, helped choose the topic for the symposium and said that in years past the event had just been focused on ethics and professional responsibility.

However, he said that this year the law school had the unique opportunity to promote its new health law certificate. “We wanted to promote that for the school, and so we used the resources available to formulate that topic,” Almodova said. “From there, we tried to pick a topic that was relevant and something that practitioners in the area could rely on.”

“I think it’s important for students to attend because these speakers are bringing up subjects that we really should be engaging in, and that starts from your earliest point of academia,” Almodova said.

The first session of the symposium focused on inequalities under the Affordable Care Act; the second on discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, race, and disability status; and the last on inequalities regarding immigration status and country of origin.

During the immigration session, Creighton law professor Dr. Jacqueline N. Font-Guzmán spoke about her personal experiences with the healthcare system in Puerto Rico and its connection to Hurricane Maria.

Font-Guzmán argued that the root cause of the inequality in Puerto Rico’s healthcare system is not the hurricane but colonialism. “The hurricane is not really the problem. It’s what exacerbates and unveils things that have been going on forever.”

Medha D. Makhlouf, JD said in her presentation on the link between immigration status and health care that “immigration policy can also be health policy.”

Makhlouf said that healthcare and immigration status are inherently connected, and this connection should be recognized. “In my opinion public health lawyers and scholars must have a broad perspective on the scope of their work.”

The Creighton Law Review Symposium and TePoel Lecture has been held for the past 52 years.

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