Instructor(s) Charo, R. Alta
Bioethics & the Law will focus on the interplay between common law doctrine, constitutional law and medicine. It will not cover medical malpractice or health insurance coverage, but it will cover the doctor-patient relationship; new reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization and surrogacy; contraception and abortion; pregnancy and childbirth; experimental treatments; assistance in dying; and organ transplantation. This semester emphasis will be on cases concerning the beginning and end of life. Legal concepts touched on include kinship, personhood, liberty, equity and autonomy. The course will be conducted in a traditional lecture/discussion format. Readings will be taken from published cases and articles, and may include non-legal materials, such as essays in philosophy or history of science. Prior knowledge of constitutional law and administrative law helpful but not required. Students will be required to write a 20-25 page paper on one of several topics announced by the instructor. There is no final exam.