Lance Gable

Lance Gable

Lance Gable


Lance Gable is an associate professor of law at Wayne State University Law School. Gable, an internationally known expert on public health law and bioethics, served as interim dean of Wayne Law from September 2016 to August 2017.

A member of the Law School faculty since 2006, he also served as associate dean from June 2014 until his appointment as interim dean in 2016. Prior to that, he was interim associate dean since June 2013. He teaches courses on Public Health Law, Bioethics and the Law, Torts and other health law subjects.

His research addresses the overlap among law, policy, ethics, health and science. He has published journal articles on a diverse array of topics, including public health law, ethics and policy; international human rights; bioterrorism and emergency preparedness; mental health; research ethics; and information privacy. He also is co-editor and co-author respectively of two books: Research with High Risk Populations: Balancing Science, Ethics and the Law and Legal Aspects of HIV/AIDS: A Guide for Policy and Law Reform.

Gable has helped the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services develop ethical guidelines for the allocation of scarce medical resources during public health emergencies. He also has assisted with the development of course materials for the World Health Organization Diploma in International Human Rights and Mental Health, and has worked as a human rights consultant for the Pan American Health Organization.

He has served as co-chair of Wayne State University's Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee, co-chair of the university's Clinical and Transnational Research Ethics Workgroup. He is the recipient of the 2010 WSU Academy of Scholars Junior Faculty Award for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Prior to joining the Wayne Law faculty, Gable was a senior fellow at the Centers for Law and the Public's Health: A Collaborative at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins universities, affiliated with the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He continued his affiliation with the centers as a scholar from 2006 to 2012.

He previously was project director for the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals Legal and Regulatory Issues Project, administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration. He also was the Alfred P. Sloan Fellow in Bioterrorism Law and Policy at the Centers for Law and the Public’s Health, and practiced as a health care law attorney at a major international firm in Washington, D.C.

Gable holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Johns Hopkins University and master of public health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

Degrees and Certifications

J.D., Georgetown University Law Center
M.P.H., Johns Hopkins University
B.A., Johns Hopkins University

Courses Taught

Bioethics and the Law
Public Health Law

Selected Publications

Journal articles

Criticized, Fired, Sued, or Prosecuted: Hindsight and Public Health Accountability 132 (6) Public Health Reports 676-678 (2017) (with James W. Buehler)

Special Issue on the Framework Convention on Global Health, Global Health Governance (Spring - Fall 2015) (co-editor with Ames Dhai, Robert Marten, Benjamin Mason Meier, and Jennifer Prah Ruger).

"Emergency Preparedeness and Response for Disabled Individuals: Implications of Recent Litigation," 43 Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 91-94 (Supplement 1 2015) (with Lainie Rutkow and Holly A. Taylor).

"U.S. Efforts to Realise the Right to Health through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," 13(1) Human Rights L. Rev. 167-190 (2013) (with Benjamin Mason Meier).

"Complementarity in Public Health Systems: Using Redundancy as a Tool of Public Health Governance," 22 Annals of Health Law 224-245 (2013) (with Benjamin Mason Meier).

"Global Health Rights: Employing Human Rights to Develop and Implement the Framework Convention on Global Health," Vol. 15(1) Health and Human Rights 17-31 (2013) (with Benjamin Mason Meier).

"Evading Emergency: Strengthening Emergency Response Through Integrated Pluralistic Governance," 91 Oregon L. Rev. 375- 454 (2012).

"The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Health, and the Elusive Target of Human Rights," 39 J. L. Med.& Ethics 340-354 (2011).

"Global Public Health Legal Responses to H1N1," ­­39 J. L. Med.& Ethics 46-50 (Supplement 1 2011) (with Brooke Courtney, Robert Gatter, and Eleanor D. Kinney).

"Protecting the Mental Health of First Responders: Legal and Ethical Considerations," 39 J. L. Med.& Ethics 56-59 (Supplement 1 2011) (with Lainie Rutkow and Jonathan M. Links).

"Reproductive Health as a Human Right," 60 Case Western Reserve L. Rev. 957-996 (2010).

"A Global Assessment of the Role of Law in the HIV/AIDS Pandemic," 123(3) Public Health 260-264 (2009) (with Lawrence O. Gostin and James G. Hodge, Jr.).

"HIV/AIDS, Sexual and Reproductive Health, and the Law," 98(10) American Journal of Public Health 1779-1786 (2008) (with Lawrence O. Gostin and James G. Hodge, Jr.).

"Global Mental Health: Changing Norms, Constant Rights," 9 Geo. J. Int’l Aff. 83-92 (Winter/Spring 2008) (with Lawrence O. Gostin).

"A CDC Review of School Laws and Policies Concerning Child and Adolescent Health," 78 J. School Health 69-128 (2008) (with James G. Hodge, Jr. and Julie Samia Mair).

"The Proliferation of Human Rights in Global Health Governance," 35 J. L. Med.& Ethics 534 (Winter 2007).

"Public Goods, Private Data: History, Ethics, and the Uses of Identifiable Public Health Information" 122 Public Health Reports 7 (Supplement 1 2007) (with Amy L. Fairchild, Lawrence O. Gostin, Ronald Bayer, Patricia Sweeney, and Rob Janssen).

"Risk Management in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina: Hospital Liability Associated with the Use of Volunteer Health Professionals During Emergencies," 10 Mich. St. Univ. J. Med. & L. 57 (2006) (with James G. Hodge, Jr., Stephanie H. Cálves, Elizabeth Meltzer, and Sara Kraner).

"The Legal Framework for Meeting Surge Capacity Through the Use of Volunteer Health Professionals During Public Health Emergencies and Other Disasters," 22 J. Contemp. Health L. & Pol’y 5 (2006) (with James G. Hodge, Jr. and Stephanie H. Cálves).

"Legislating and Litigating Health Care Rights Around the World," 33 J.L. Med. & Ethics 636 (2005) (with Colleen M. Flood and Lawrence O. Gostin).

"Mental Health and Due Process in the Americas: Protecting the Human Rights of Persons Involuntarily Admitted and Detained in Psychiatric Institutions," 18 Pan Amer. J. of Pub. Health 366 (2005) (with Javier Vásquez, Lawrence O. Gostin, and Heidi V. Jiménez).

"Volunteer Health Professionals and Emergencies: Assessing and Transforming the Legal Environment, 3 Biosecurity and Bioterrorism 216 (2005) (with James G. Hodge, Jr. and Stephanie H. Cálves).

"The Human Rights of Persons with Mental Disabilities: A Global Perspective on the Application of Human Rights Principles to Mental Health," 63 Maryland L. Rev. 20 (2004) (with Lawrence O. Gostin).

"When the Right to Health and the Right to Religion Conflict: A Human Rights Analysis," 12 Mich. St. J. Int’l L. 247 (2004) (with Lesley Stone and Tara Gingerich).

"The Role of State Law in Protecting Human Subjects of Public Health Research and Practice," 31 J.L. Med. & Ethics 638 (2004) (with Scott Burris, Lesley Stone, and Zita Lazzarini).

Book chapters/contributions

"Global Health Governance, International Law, and Mental Health," in Samuel Okpaku (ed.), Global Mental Health 336-345 (Cambridge Univ. Press 2014).

"Emergency Preparedness: Bioterrorism, Armed Conflict, Natural Disasters, and Other Public Health Threats," in Tom Oliver (ed.), The Guide to U.S. Health and Healthcare Policy409-420 (Congressional Quarterly Press 2014).

"Mental Disability," in Gunilla Backman (ed.), The Right to Health 225-261 (Studentlitteratur, 2012).

Public Health Law and Biological Terrorism, in Larry I. Lutwick & Suzanne M. Lutwick (eds.), Beyond Anthrax: The Weaponization of Infectious Diseases, 2d ed. (Springer, 2012)(with James G. Hodge Jr).

"Rights Based Approaches to Public Health Systems" in Rights Based Approaches to Public Health (Springer, 2010) (with Benjamin Mason Meier, Jocelyn E. Getgen, and Leslie London).

"Human Rights of Persons with Mental Disabilities" in The Principles of Mental Health Law and Policy (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2010) (with Lawrence O. Gostin).

"Mental Health as a Human Right," in Andrew Clapham, Mary Robinson, Claire Mahon, and Scott Jerbi (EDS.), Realizing the Right to Health: Swiss Human Rights Book Volume III (Rüffer & Rub, 2009) (with Lawrence O. Gostin).

"Legal Challenges Raised by Non-intervention Research Conducted Under High-risk Circumstances" in David Buchanan, Celia B. Fisher, and Lance Gable (eds.), Research with High Risk Populations: Balancing Science, Ethics, and Law 47-74 (American Psychological Association, 2009).

"Ethical and Legal Frameworks in Non-Intervention Research with High Risk Populations: Concluding Thoughts and Best Practices" in David Buchanan, Celia B. Fisher, and Lance Gable (eds.), Research with High Risk Populations: Balancing Science, Ethics, and Law 233-252 (American Psychological Association, 2009) (with David Buchanan and Celia B. Fisher).

Introduction, in David Buchanan, Celia B. Fisher, and Lance Gable (eds.), Research with High Risk Populations: Balancing Science, Ethics, and Law 3-21 (American Psychological Association, 2009) (with David Buchanan and Celia B. Fisher).

"Public Health Law" in Stanley N. Katz (ed.) Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History (Oxford University Press, 2009) (with Lawrence O. Gostin).

"Public Health Law and Biological Terrorism" in Beyond Anthrax: The Weaponization of Infectious Diseases 239-252. (Larry I. Lutwick & Suzanne M. Lutwick eds. 2008)(with James G. Hodge, Jr).


  • Realizing the Right to Health (Rueffer & Rub) 2009 Gable co-authored a chapter with Lawrence O. Gostin titled "Mental Health as a Human Right"

    From "Realizing the right to health requires a strong focus on strengthening health care systems and transforming health systems for women. Taking a human rights approach to health means understanding the underlying social determinants of this right, as well as how to ensure the right to health is realized in times of emergency and armed conflict, and for all groups in society, including migrants and refugees, LGBTI persons, prisoners and detainees, and others. In this third volume of the Swiss Human Rights Book series, leading international experts in human rights and health address issues such as access to essential medicine, HIV/AIDS, trade and health, SARS and malaria, and human rights approaches to other key health challenges. They address the role of governments, non-state actors and healthcare practitioners, the responses of multilateral institutions, and highlight some of the most promising strategies for realizing the right to health."

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  • Research With High-Risk Populations: Balancing Science, Ethics, and Law (American Psychological Association) 2009 Edited by David Buchanan, DrPH; Celia B. Fisher, PhD; and Lance Gable, JD, MPH

    Research With High-Risk Populations provides guidance to social scientists regarding their ethical and legal responsibilities to respond appropriately to threats of harm that may arise during the course of data collection. Contributing authors include leading researchers, ethicists, lawyers, and Institutional Review Board (IRB) members from across the country who illuminate the complexities of the issues using case studies from their own research projects. This collection of ethical and legal analyses examines both the challenges of conducting research designed to responsibly gain a better understanding of the origins of serious health problems, and the moral and legal obligations of researchers who learn of threats of violence in the course of pursuing the primary objectives of the research. This book maps out an appropriate balance between protecting human research participants from harm and generating new scientific knowledge. It will enable researchers and IRB members to become more knowledgeable about the different ways of allowing valuable research to go forward, while minimizing the potential for harm and protecting all parties involved from undue harm and exploitation.

  • Legal Aspects of HIV/AIDS: A Guide for Policy and Law Reform (The World Bank Group) 2007 with co-authors Katrina Gamharter, Lawrence O. Gostin, James G. Hodge Jr., and Rudolf V. van Puymbroeck

    This book summarizes key legal and policy issues for 65 wide-ranging topics related to HIV/AIDS. The book shows how laws and regulations can either underpin or undermine good public health programs and responsible personal behaviors. It provides relevant "practice examples" (citing from actual laws and regulations) and offers selective lists of references. Laws relating to many areas of our lives--from intimate personal conduct to international travel--can contribute to stigma, discrimination, and exclusion, or can help remedy these inequities. In order to create a supportive legal framework for responding to HIV/AIDS, it is important that governments effectively address gaps and other problematic aspect in their legislation and regulatory systems.


  • Lance Gable

    was a panelist at the 2019 Health Law Professors Conference, sponsored by the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics and Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He discussed public health preparedness and structuring legal preparedness to avoid leadership failures.

  • Lance Gable

    wrote, “Finding the Threads of Human Rights in the Global Health Tapestry: A Review of ‘Human Rights in Global Health: Rights-Based Governance for a Globalizing World,’” for the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. Read the article.

  • Lance Gable

    has been named an inaugural Levin Center Research Scholar. The research award will be presented on an annual basis to a member of the Wayne Law faculty in an effort to support scholarship central to the mission of the Levin Center at Wayne Law. Read more

  • Lance Gable

    presented at the Health Law Professors Conference on the topic "Hindsight and Public Health Accountability" on June 9 at Case Western Reserve School of Law in Cleveland.

  • Lance Gable

    was a panelist at the “Data Explosion: Societal Benefits and Risks” symposium hosted by Wayne State University. This event was one of a six-part symposia series in honor of WSU’s Sesquicentennial Celebration. He discussed privacy and legality in the digital age.

  • Lance Gable

    participated in a webinar on "Executive Decision Making and Liability for Public Health Officials," co-sponsored by the Network for Public Health Law and the Partnership for Public Health Law.

  • Lance Gable

    presented "Overarching Themes in Public Health Law" at the 40th Annual Health Law Professors Conference at Georgia State University College of Law in Atlanta.

  • Lance Gable

    was the keynote speaker at a conference titled, "The Autonomous Patient: Entrepreneurs Driving Health Care" in Detroit.

In the news

  • Lance Gable

    was quoted in a report for Route Fifty, “Criminal Charges Have Been Dropped Against Officials in Flint. What Comes Next?

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  • Lance Gable

    was interviewed by the Associated Press for their report, "Expert: No immediate impact from Obamacare ruling." 

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  • Lance Gable

    wrote “3 ways the US should prepare for the next flu pandemic” for The Conversation. The Connecticut Post, Live Science, Stamford Advocate and Lincoln Journal Star also picked up the article.

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  • Lance Gable

    was featured in the Detroit Legal News for its report, "Wayne Law names Gable interim dean."

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  • Lance Gable

    was featured in The Detroit News report, "Wayne State Law School names interim dean."

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  • Lance Gable

    was quoted in Crain's Detroit Business for its report, "Law firm builds case for cloud-based growth."

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Advocating for justice, serving the community, revitalizing Detroit and Michigan