Chicago-Kent student Meaghan Sweeney '17 wins national health law writing award
Meaghan Sweeney '17 is the winner of the 2017 Hirsh Award of the American College of Legal Medicine for her paper proposing a health-based approach to legislation aimed at reducing gun violence.
Sweeney, who won first place in the college's Student Writing Competition in Law, Medicine & Bioethics, presented her paper in February at the college's annual conference in Las Vegas. Her paper will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Legal Medicine.
Sweeney's winning paper is titled Cutting the Yellow Tape with 42 C.F.R. Part 2: A Healthcare-Based Approach to Combatting Gun Violence. In it she argues that, statistically, substance and alcohol abuse are more reliable predictors of gun violence than mental health conditions, and that federal laws combatting gun violence should target identified alcohol abusers. She also argues that federal privacy laws should be amended to provide increased clarification concerning health care providers' duty to report to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) on persons who may be disqualified from obtaining firearms.
Sweeney is a 2014 graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During law school, she has served as an executive articles editor of the Chicago-Kent Law Review, as a judicial extern in the Illinois Appellate Court, as a participant in the Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic, and as a law clerk at various firms. She is interested in pursuing a career in health law and litigation.
Founded in 1888, Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, a private, technology-focused, research university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human sciences, applied technology, and law.