In 2004, the journal Health Matrix published a very interesting symposium volume titled “The Field of Health Law: Its Past and Future. As the title implies, the various commentators took both a retrospective and a prospective look at past trends and future prospects in health law. Some, including Clark Havighurst, Skip Rosoff and Walter Wadlington, wrote thoughtful essays on the development of health law over time and the implications of those trends. Others, including Rob Schwartz, Jim Blumstein, Rand Rosenblatt, and Mark Hall and Carl Schneider, wrote equally thoughtful essays that reflected on the past but focused more on future directions and prospects. And one, Kep Wing, wrote a semi-dyspeptic essay debunking the entire field of health law.
Taken together, these essays present a comprehensive view of how health law has developed so far and where its future might lie. Four themes emerge from the collected writings. First, there is considerable agreement on how and why health law has developed, but little agreement on where it is headed.