Assistant Professor Lauren Roth Named a 2023 Health Law Scholar

Assistant Professor Lauren R. Roth has been named a 2023 Health Law Scholar by the Saint Louis University School of Law Center for Health Law Studies and the American Society of Law, Medicine, and Ethics (ASLME).

Each year, a nominating committee selects four Health Law Scholars through a competitive process of blind review. Participants are selected based on their ideas, and the committee seeks work by junior scholars with an original thesis that will contribute to the scholarly literature. As a Health Law Scholar, Professor Roth will submit a full-length draft of a new law review article in August. In September, the scholars will gather in St. Louis, and senior faculty in the health law field will discuss the article and also provide career advice.

Professor Roth's article, Cause of Death, will address the dramatic increase in “excess deaths” (i.e., any deaths above the number predicted by existing mortality models) since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. While COVID-19 highlighted the inadequacies associated with death certificates (and death investigations and reporting generally), the problem extends far beyond COVID-19. Implications for this failure to properly attribute excess deaths may include harm to vulnerable populations, a lack of political will due to the underestimation of deaths from a particular cause, and resource misallocation because of the absence of supporting statistical data. Professor Roth's article will include a comprehensive review of the problem, an examination of state regulations related to the production of death certificates and data, and suggestions for increasing accuracy and uniformity.

Congratulations to Professor Roth for this recognition of her timely and innovative scholarship!


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