Bioethics and Law

Class Unique: 29215
This course examines the legal, ethical, and policy issues that arise at the intersection of law, medicine, and new technology, especially as they affect medical practices at the beginning and end of life. The topics addressed involve issues of great significance to health care providers, families, patients, policymakers, and health lawyers. No special knowledge or background in science, medicine, or bioethics is necessary. In the first half of the course we will study 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. We will also address issues of rationing care at the end of life the so-called "death panels" canard that arose in the health insurance reform debate this past summer Topics studied in the second half of the course will include rights to procreate and avoid procreation, sterilization, abortion, contraception, embryo and fetal research, IVF and assisted reproduction, egg and sperm donors and surrogates, and prenatal duties of pregnant women to prospective offspring. We will also have classes devoted to genetic screening of fetuses and embryos, and the use of embryos to obtain stem cells for research and therapy. There will be a final exam. Depending on the number enrolled, there may also be two short papers based on the assigned material. This course is open to FreshLaws.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Monday, Wednesday 11:50 am - 1:05 pm JON 6.257
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room
Final 5/7/13 8:30 am A-Z

Additional Information

Course Type


Robertson, John A. Robertson, John A.