Holly Fernandez Lynch, J.D., M.Bioethics, Academic Fellow, Petrie-Flom Center
Bioethics is a field of many disciplines, but it has been shaped in a number of ways by the law and lawyers. American courts in particular have played an important role, deciding cases in nearly every area of bioethical inquiry. This seminar will provide a survey of these key cases, some famous and some less so. Likely topics include:
Pregnancy and parenthood (abortion, maternal-fetal conflict, surrogacy, parental discretion over medical care)
Doctor-patient relationship (informed consent, confidentiality, duty to warn, conflicts of conscience)
Palliative care and end-of-life issues (withdrawal of treatment, assisted suicide, medical marijuana, refusal of care)
Research (ownership of bodily materials, stem cells, experimental drug access)
Disability and eugenics
Public health (quarantine, mandatory vaccination)
Students will be responsible for researching and presenting historical background to contextualize each week’s cases. Readings will include cases, briefs, and other materials. Grading based on class participation (1/3) and written work (2/3). Students can choose to write either multiple reading responses or a single final paper. Given the importance of class participation, enrollment will be capped at 15.
No prerequisites. Open to law students and other interested graduate students.