Faculty Director I. Glenn Cohen Joins National Academy of Sciences Committee image

Petrie-Flom Center, September 26, 2016

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I. Glenn Cohen, Faculty Director of Harvard Law School’s Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics and Robert Truog, Director of the Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics, have been invited to serve on the new National Academy of Sciences committee on Issues in Organ Donor Intervention Research. The committee, launched this month by the Institutes of Medicine Board on Health Sciences Policy, will bring together leading experts in law, medicine, public health, biomedical research, and bioethics to address ethical, policy, regulatory, and operational issues impacting the conduct of research involving deceased organ donors. The committee will address gaps, barriers, and opportunities for clinical research involving deceased donors that aims to increase the quality and quantity of donated organs available for transplantation, with particular attention to interventions administered to the donor and thus potentially affecting all of the donor’s organs. 

Glenn Cohen, JD is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Faculty Director of Harvard Law School's Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics. Professor Cohen's current projects relate to big data, health information technologies, mobile health, reproduction/reproductive technology, research ethics, organ transplantation, rationing in law and medicine, health policy, FDA law, translational medicine, and to medical tourism – the travel of patients who are residents of one country, the "home country," to another country, the "destination country," for medical treatment. Prior to becoming a professor he served as a law clerk to Judge Michael Boudin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and as a lawyer for U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Appellate Staff, where he handled litigation in the Courts of Appeals and (in conjunction with the Solicitor General’s Office) in the U.S. Supreme Court. In his spare time he still litigates, having co-authored an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court for leading gene scientist Eric Lander in Association of Molecular Pathology v. Myriad, concerning whether human genes are patent eligible subject matter. Most recently he submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt (the Texas abortion case, on behalf of himself, Melissa Murray, and B. Jessie Hill). Cohen was selected as a Radcliffe Institute Fellow for the 2012–2013 year and by the Greenwall Foundation to receive a Faculty Scholar Award in Bioethics. He is also a Fellow at the Hastings Center, the leading bioethics think tank in the United States. He leads the Ethics and Law initiative as part of the multi-million dollar NIH-funded Harvard Catalyst | The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center program. He is also one of three editors-in-chief of the Journal of Law and the Biosciences, a peer-reviewed journal and serves on the editorial board for the American Journal of Bioethics. He serves on the Steering Committee for Ethics for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian counterpart to the NIH.

Robert Truog, MD is the Frances Glessner Lee Professor of Medical Ethics, Anaesthesia and Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. He also serves as Director of the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School, leading teaching and academic initiatives including an undergraduate curriculum, Master’s degree and Fellowship programs, and a post-doctoral program for Research Scholars. He has practiced pediatric intensive care medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital for more than 30 years, including serving as Chief of the Division of Critical Care Medicine for more than a decade. As the Executive Director of the Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice at Children’s, he creates and teaches highly interactive seminars to enhance the relational and communication skills of clinicians across a variety of topics, including discussing organ donation with families. He is also the Chair of Harvard’s Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (ESCRO). Dr. Truog has published more than 250 articles and books in bioethics and related disciplines, including the co-authored “Talking with patients and families about medical error” (2010, Hopkins) and, with Franklin G. Miller, Death, Dying, and Organ Transplantation (2012, Oxford). In 2013 he was honored with the Spinoza Chair at the University of Amsterdam.

As members of the committee, Cohen and Truog will help produce a report delineating the issues pertinent to organ donor intervention research and making recommendations to maximize public and professional trust in the organ donation process and ethical conduct of organ donor intervention research.

For more information on the committee, including a full roster of members, visit the project’s website.

bioethics doctor-patient relationship health law policy human subjects research human tissue i. glenn cohen medicine regulation research