Bioethics and Law

This course examines the legal issues and law and policy that have developed to deal with new developments in medicine and science. These issues raise ethical and legal issues of great significance and interest and often legal complexity. After a general introduction to medicine and its regulation, the class will investigate legal issues and applicable surrounding death and the extension of life and then issues surrounding reproduction and the beginning of life. Topics in the first half of the course will include the right to refuse necessary medical care, competency, active and passive euthanasia, withholding treatment from incompetent or comatose patients, decision-making roles for family, hospital ethics committees, and the courts, brain death and organ transplantation. Topics studied in the second half of the course will rights to procreate and avoid procreation, sterilization, abortion, contraception, embryo and fetal research, IVF and assisted reproduction, egg and sperm donors and surrogates, stem cells, and genetics. A requirement of the course is that students attend a half-day session of a conference on Law and Innovation in Biomedicine--The Case of Stem Cells to be held on April 10 and 11, 2009--and write a report on the topics discussed. There will be a final exam. Depending on the number enrolled, there may also be two short papers.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Monday, Wednesday 9:05 - 10:20 am TNH 3.129
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room
Final 5/13/09 8:30 am A-Z

Additional Information

Course Type


Robertson, John A. Robertson, John A.