Law and Assisted Reproduction

This interdisciplinary course will examine the legal, ethical, medical, and scientific issues posed at the cutting edge of biomedical science, focusing on genetics, genomics, and assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in human beings. Topics will include the human genome project; history of eugenics; issues posed by genetic and genomic research; commercialization of genetic research, including issues raised by gene patents; genetic testing, counseling, and screening; prenatal screening and preimplantation genetic diagnosis; the use of genetics in ART; human gene therapy; pharmacogenetics; the privacy of genetic information; and issues of discrimination. Together, the class will work through the scientific, medical, legal, and ethical issues. In each instance, we will evaluate the legal, ethical, and policy challenges posed, critique current approaches, and explore alternative recommendations.