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This Article seeks to descriptively map the sub-field of gambling disorder and the law and ask whether individuals with gambling disorder are vulnerable under the law. Like other scholarship that descriptively maps ethical, legal, and social implications of lesser known conditions and developments, this Article seeks to describe the treatment of individuals with gambling disorder in a variety of illustrative, but not exhaustive, legal contexts, to identify the limited scholarship assessing the application of the law to individuals with gambling disorder, and to invite members of the health law academy to bring their significant expertise to bear on these issues through traditional normative scholarship. Such work would require members of the health law academy to familiarize themselves with gambling disorder, including its prevalence, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as advances in the neuroscientific understanding of the disorder. This is intentional; that is, one of the goals of this Article is to increase awareness of gambling disorder and to encourage compassion and sympathy for affected individuals. A second goal of this Article is to revisit age-old questions about what it means to be ill and whether and how the law should accommodate individuals with particular physical and mental health conditions, including gambling disorders.

Publication Citation

16 Hous. J. Health L. & Pol'y 163 (2016).