Monthly Archives: January 2012

Risky Business: Statistical Proof of Individual Causation

Risky Business: Statistical Proof of Individual Causation

12:00pm - 1:00pm Friday, January 20th, 2012
Alumni Reception Center, 200 McAllister Street, UC Hastings College of the Law

Susan Haack, MA, BPhil, PhD

About the presentation: After tracking down where it arose and how it spread through our legal system, this paper offers a systematic critique of the idea that evidence of more than doubled risk of a disease or disorder among those exposed to a suspect substance is crucial to proof of individual causation. The first part of her argument is that evidence of more than doubled risk is neither necessary nor sufficient to establish individual causation “by a preponderance of the evidence;” the second part, that requiring evidence of more than doubled risk for a plaintiff’s testimony to be even admissible is defensible neither from a legal nor from a policy perspective.

About the Speaker: Susan Haack, MA, B.Phil, PhD is Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, Cooper Senior Scholar in Arts and Sciences, Professor of Philosophy, and Professor of Law. Her work ranges from philosophy of logic and language, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of science, Pragmatism—both philosophical and legal—and the law of evidence, especially scientific evidence, to social philosophy, feminism, and philosophy of literature. Her books include Philosophy of Logics; Deviant Logic, Fuzzy Logic: Beyond the Formalism; Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate; Defending Science – Within Reason; Pragmatism, Old and New; and most recently, Putting Philosophy to Work (2008), Ciencia, Sociedad y Cultura (2008), and the second, expanded edition of her internationally-acclaimed Evidence and Inquiry (2009). In 2010 she received her first copies of the Chinese edition of Defending Science; and in 2011 she gave a series of lectures in Rio de Janeiro to mark the publication of the Portuguese edition of her Manifesto. She has also published a very large number and great variety of articles, in philosophical, legal, literary, scientific, and general-interest journals—including a good many so highly-regarded that they have been reprinted several times. Her work has been translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Croatian, Danish, Swedish, Romanian, Korean, and Chinese; and she is invited to lecture around the world. She counts more than 500 speaking engagements so far—in philosophy departments, at law schools, at international conferences, and in numerous other fora. In 2009 she gave lectures across the U.S., and in Italy, the U.K., Switzerland, Chile, Colombia, and—her second major lecture tour there—China; in 2010 she gave lectures in the U.S., Spain, Slovakia, Canada, Finland, and Colombia; and in 2011 in the U.S., Canada, Sweden, Spain, Brazil, and Romania. Prof. Haack has won an award from the American Philosophical Association, and another from UM, for excellence in teaching; and (also from UM) an award for outstanding graduate mentor, the Provost’s Award for excellence in research, and the Faculty Senate Distinguished Scholar Award; as well as the (national) Forkosch Award for excellence in writing. She was included in Peter J. King’s One Hundred Philosophers: The Life and Work of the World’s Greatest Thinkers and on the Sunday Independent’s list, based on a BBC poll, of the ten most important women philosophers of all time; and her work has celebrated in a volume of essays entitled Susan Haack: A Lady of Distinctions.

Accountable Care Organizations in the Safety Net: Barriers and Benefits

The accountable care organization (ACO), a new care delivery model with the potential to improve quality while simultaneously reducing costs, is a key part of the Affordable Care Act.  Once an academic pipe dream, the ACO is already a reality in the commercial sector, and will soon be rolled out in Medicare via its Shared Savings Program.  Owing to the characteristics of both safety net providers and their patients, the safety net arguably has the most to gain from coordinated care strategies like the ACO.  But as this historic transition begins, the safety net may also be at the most risk of being left behind.  At UC Berkeley, a team of researchers from the both the legal and public health fields have been studying the potential for ACO formation in the safety net.  One component of the project is the development of a readiness assessment instrument for use by health providers.  The other consists of research on both the federal and state legal/regulatory barriers to ACO formation.  These barriers include, e.g., the corporate practice of medicine doctrine, state regulatory schemes that do not interface with the ACO model, and uncertainty about tax-exempt status.  The presentation will give an overview of the research team's findings.

About the Speaker: Matt Chayt is an attorney and 2010 graduate of UC Hastings College of the Law.  In 2011, he was selected for a fellowship at the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy.  There, he has been supporting several research projects on health, economic and family security.  Matt has previously worked at the Institute for Women's Policy Research, National Public Radio and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.