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Center for Policy Studies

Public Affairs Discussion Group

Why Performance Enhancing Drugs Should be Legal in Sports

Max Mehlman, J.D. - Arthur E. Petersilge Professor of Law and Director of the Law-Medicine Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Friday October 25, 2013
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

STE-ROIDS, STE-ROIDS, STE-ROIDS…. Many of us have heard the chant – or chanted ourselves, when a slugger for some enemy team came to home plate. Performance-enhancing drugs and their alleged evil bursts into the headlines – mostly the sports pages but sometimes the front page – with controversies over superstar athletes from Lance Armstrong to Alex Rodriguez.

But what, exactly, is the problem here? Athletes have been "artificially' improving their performance for a very long time. Much of that involves equipment (check out hockey goalies' pads these days), but Jim Bouton's classic Ball Four described widespread use of "greenies" (amphetamines) in baseball in the 1960s. Baseball players have long ingested nicotine even during games, through chewing tobacco. When athletes ingest drugs those drugs may be dangerous to their health – but if that's our concern, why is football legal?

Professor Mehlman views drugs in sports as part of a broader set of questions that he addressed in The Price of Perfection: Individualism and Society in the Era of Biomedical Enhancement (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009). He sees little logic in current policies about what is allowed and what is not, and makes the case for a much more targeted approach to any regulation.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest

Maxwell J. Mehlman received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1975, and holds two bachelors degrees, one from Reed College and one from Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. Prior to joining the Case Western Reserve University School of Law faculty in 1984, Professor Mehlman practiced law with Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in federal regulation of health care and medical technology. He is the co-author of Access to the Genome: The Challenge to Equality; co-editor, with Tom Murray, of the Encyclopedia of Ethical, Legal and Policy Issues in Biotechnology; co-author of Genetics: Ethics, Law and Policy, the first casebook on genetics and law, now in its second edition; and author of Wondergenes: Genetic Enhancement and the Future of Society, published in 2003 by the Indiana University Press. His latest books are entitled The Price of Perfection: Individualism and Society in the Era of Biomedical Enhancement (Johns Hopkins University Press) and Transhumanist Dreams and Dystopian Nightmares: The Promise and Peril of Genetic Engineering (Johns Hopkins University Press).

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. We usually meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library. The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

November 1: Press Freedom and the Edward Snowden Affair. With Jim Sheeler, Shirley Wormser Professor of Journalism and Media Writing.

November 8: Is It or Is It Not Cancer? Is That the Question? With Nathan A. Berger, Distinguished University Professor and Director, Center for Science, Health and Society.

November 15: The Opportunity Corridor and Beyond: Transportation Issues in University Circle. With Debbie Berry, Vice President of Development, University Circle Inc.

November 22: Economic Effects of Health Care Reform: The Massachusetts Experience. With Mark Votruba, Associate Professor of Economics.

November 29 : No Session - Thanksgiving Break

December 6: TBA
October 21, 2013

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Upcoming Events

Targets, Markets , and the English National Health Service

ADAM J. OLIVER Ph.D., Reader in Health and Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, Friday, October 25, 2013 at 4:15 p.m., Peter B. Lewis Building - Room 202, 11119 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH 44106. A Global Currents Lecture and Discussion co-sponsored by the CWRU Department of Economics and the Center for Policy Studies with the generous support of Ms. Eloise Briskin. This forum is free and open to the public.

Discussions of "health care reform" in the United States often cite other countries, especially the United Kingdom, as either examples of what to do or scare stories about why change is dangerous.

Yet those systems are not static, and in the past 25 years, few countries have seen as many rounds of reform as the United Kingdom. They range from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), beloved and totally misunderstood by U.S. reformers, through management by "targets and terror," to the latest round of "competitive" reform enacted in 2012. It has been driven by public dissatisfaction, management fads, government biases and broader trends like devolution – which is why we now distinguish the English NHS from those of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. There has been lots of controversy and hype, but what has actually happened?

Adam Oliver is one of the world's leaders in comparing health care systems, both in his own research and as co-editor of Health Economics, Policy and Law and an organizer of international forums such as the Anglo-American Health Policy Network and the European Health Policy Group. He is modest enough not to claim he can explain it all – but if anyone can give an informed and balanced view, he can.

The Supreme Court’s Treatment of Same-Sex Marriage in United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry: Analysis and Implications

Notable scholars in the fields of political science, sociology, religious liberty, tax and constitutional law, will examine the Court’s decisions through the lenses of their disciplines. They will discuss the decisions in these cases, the legal questions which are left unanswered, and their implications on the future of marriage. Friday, October 25, 2013, 8:45 A.M. - 4:00 P.M., Moot Courtroom (A59), CWRU School of Law, 11075 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106-7148. Sponsored by the Law Review Symposium.

This symposium will address the variety of legal issues associated with the Supreme Court’s decisions in United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry. These cases address the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban. In Windsor, the Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause. However, it did not reach the merits of Perry due to lack of standing.

Panel discussions will focus on judicial independence, the level of scrutiny applied by the Court to these decisions, federalism, and the implication of these rulings on the definition of family in America.

October 2013







































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