Publication Date

Spring 2003


Yale Law & Policy Review


The failure of the 107th Congress to pass a "Patients' Bill of Rights" (PBR) is widely considered a major disappointment, to be remedied in the 108th Congress by the adoption of such legislation. Indeed, federal PBR proposals have achieved the proverbial motherhood-and-apple-pie status; it is virtually impossible to find anyone actively opposing a federal PBR. Many members of the 108th Congress likely feel pressure to pass PBR legislation before returning to the electorate in 2004.

I advance a contrary perspective: A federal PBR is an idea whose time is past or, to be precise, is an idea whose rationales are no longer persuasive. We should neither mourn the failure of the 107th Congress to adopt a federal PBR, nor should we encourage the 108th Congress to enact such legislation.



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Yale Law School


Health Law and Policy | Jurisdiction | Law



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