HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Monday, July 12, 2021

Peace-of-Mind Consequences of Law: A Proposed Definition and Examples

Kathy L. Cerminara (Nova Southeastern University), Carrie Petrucci, Peace-of-Mind Consequences of Law: A Proposed Definition and Examples, Putting Therapeutic Jurisprudence in the Mainstream, (Forthcoming):

To apply therapeutic jurisprudence principles is to examine whether laws, procedures, or legal actors enhance or detract from the mental well-being of those affected by them (i.e., are therapeutic or anti-therapeutic). In this piece, the co-authors propose recognition of peace-of-mind laws as those whose very presence brings a long-term therapeutic effect on quality of life for those impacted by them, while their absence elicits a negative impact. They suggest defining a peace-of-mind law as one (a) whose absence creates constant worry and concern (b) over the long-term (c) for the quality of life (d) of defined groups of people. The presence of the peace-of-mind law (a) reduces stress and (b) improves quality of life (c) which brings about peace of mind. Examples in the United States, the co-authors suggest, include aid-in-dying laws, expansion of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, long-term-care coverage under the short-lived Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act, and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act’s assurances that employers and insurers cannot discriminate on the basis of one’s genetic makeup.

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