Living Dangerously: A Defense of Mortal Peril
Richard A. Epstein   |   1998 U. Ill. L. Rev.

As one of the most controversial writers of our time, just the name Richard Epstein draws immediate attention from all sectors of academia. But if the hallmark of great ideas is the criticism they engender, Professor Epstein's words and thoughts are powerful indeed. In Mortal Peril, Professor Epstein outlined a fundamental shift in thinking that he claimed needed to occur before any discussion of health care could take place. The final consensus of the validity of Professor Epstein's views may still be a matter for history to judge, but in many ways, he has already won; with the strength of his logic and convictions, he has forced other scholars to address his concerns, and in doing so, he has refocused the debate on health care. At the symposium, Professor Epstein proved his indisputable eloquence and debating skill in answering and refuting the various points made by his many critics. Now, in writing, he thoughtfully considers and analyzes the views submitted by his colleagues, and solidifies the ideas that first found their expression in Mortal Peril.

*James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law, The University of Chicago. A.B. 1964, Columbia College; B.A. 1966, Oxford University; L.L.B. 1968, Yale Law School. I should like to thank David Hyman on an earlier draft, and Michael Marina and Dan Somnes for their research assistance.