The Petrie-Flom Center, for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School is organizing a conference on Ordeals in Health Care: Ethics and Efficient Delivery.

Conference Theme

Economic ordeals are interventions that deliberately make access to products or services more difficult in an effort to improve resource allocation. Recent research in development economics, behavioral economics, and health policy suggests that some economic ordeals could help target health resources to patients who are more likely to utilize these resources, without the regressive effects of co-pays and other forms of financial participation on the part of patients. However, making health care deliberately less accessible raises ethical challenges. This workshop will bring together leading scholars in economics, ethics, health policy, public health, medicine, sociology, and law to explore these concerns.

Who can apply?

Any interested participant from across the world can attend the conference.


Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Law School, Boston/Cambridge, MA


The conference is free and is open to public. The details of registration will be available here in January 2018.

Key Dates:

  • Conference: May 10-11, 2018
  • Registration: Opens in January 2018

Keynote speakers (subject to change):

  • Nir Eyal, Associate Professor of Global Health and Population, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Richard Zeckhauser, Frank Plumpton Ramsey Professor of Political Economy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard University
  • Charles Fried, Beneficial Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
  • Daniel Wikler, Mary B. Saltonstall Professor of Ethics and Population Health, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Moderator: Spencer Hey, Research Fellow, Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Faculty Member, Center for Bioethics, Harvard Medical School
  • Elizabeth Emens, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
  • Shari M. Erickson, Vice President of Governmental Affairs and Medical Practice, American College of Physicians
  • Kristen Underhill, Associate Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
  • Daniel M. Hausman, Herbert A. Simon and Hilldale Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Christopher Robertson, Professor of Law; Associate Dean for Research & Innovation, James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona
  • Julie L. Rose, Assistant Professor of Government, Dartmouth College
  • Anders Herlitz, Visiting Scientist, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and Researcher, Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Reza Yaesoubi, Assistant Professor of Public Health (Health Policy), Yale School of Public Health
  • Peter Berman, Professor of the Practice of Global Health Systems and Economics, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health


For any queries, please contact at

For further information, please visit the official page here.