This seminar covers the range of legal issues—arising in public and constitutional law as well as in private and criminal law, and under human rights instruments—that accompany developments in medicine and the life sciences. The common thread of the seminar involves questions of who (patients and research subjects, physicians and researchers, owners of intellectual property, drug and device manufacturers, technology companies, hospitals and research institutions, private insurers, government regulators, legislators, judges, or the general public?) has the authority and ability to make decisions about access to, and use of, these developments, which standards ought to guide their decisions, in service of what objectives and in light of what effects on themselves and on others, and, ultimately, why? Among the topics that will be examined are genome mapping and genetic screening; creation of offspring with inheritable genetic modifications; human physical and mental enhancement; artificial means of human reproduction; stem cell science and regenerative medicine; determination of death; organ transplantation; artificial organs; rationing health care; medical interventions to extend or to end the life of critically ill patients; and research with human beings. For their papers, however, students are not limited to the topics discussed in class.
University Professor Emeritus, Scott H. Bice Chair Emeritus in Healthcare Law, Policy and Ethics, Professor Emeritus of Law and Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, and Founding Co-Director, Pacific Center for Health Policy and Ethics