SAVE THE DATE: Families Matter:
Ethically, Legally, and Clinically

Saturday, March 21, 2015

We often talk, in bioethics, about individual autonomy.  Yet our most challenging ethical, legal and clinical controversies in health care…

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SAVE THE DATE: Third Annual Health Law Year in P/Review

Friday, January 30, 2015 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

At our Third Annual Health Law Year in P/Review, we will welcome experts discussing major developments during 2014 and what to watch…

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Law and Ethics of Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing

Thursday, November 06, 2014 12:00 PM
Lectures and Panels
Wasserstein Hall, Room 3018
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

The Petrie-Flom Center will host a discussion of the issues surrounding noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT), a screening method for detecting certain…

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Emerging Issues and New Frontiers for FDA Regulation

Monday, October 20, 2014 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Washington, DC

The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School and the Food and Drug Law Institute are pleased to…

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Legal and Ethical Issues in Healthcare Start-Ups
(followed by Petrie-Flom's 2014 Open House)

Monday, October 06, 2014 4:00 - 5:30 PM
Lectures and Panels
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East B
1585 Massachusetts Ave., 2nd floor, Cambridge, MA

New healthcare start-ups face a range of legal and ethical challenges as they develop new products and services and solicit…

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Health Law Workshop: Benjamin Roin

Monday, September 29, 2014 5:00 PM
Health Law Workshops
Griswold Hall, Room 110
1525 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Presentation Topic: "Solving the Problem of New Uses" Benjamin N. Roin is Assistant Professor of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management at…

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An Interview with I. Glenn Cohen on Controversial Health Issues, September 9, 2014
by Tavis Smiley, interviewing I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

In an interview with, Faculty Director I. Glenn Cohen, sat down with Tavis Smiley to discuss important health issues, such as experimental Ebola drugs and prescription opiate use in the U.S.…

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Experimental Vaccine for Chikungunya Passes First Test

NPR, August 18, 2014
by Michaeleen Doucleff

Scientists have taken the first steps to developing a vaccine for chikungunya — an emerging mosquito-borne virus that has infected more than a half million people in the Western Hemisphere…

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Academic Fellow Jeffrey Skopek to Join Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge

Petrie-Flom Center, August 11, 2014

We are pleased to announce that Petrie-Flom Academic Fellow Jeffrey Skopek will be joining the law faculty of the University of Cambridge in the fall.  At Cambridge, Jeff will continue his scholarship…

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UCLA, Harvard Law Schools launch joint annual conference on food law and policy

Harvard Law Today, August 8, 2014

From the article: UCLA School of Law and Harvard Law School have announced the inauguration of the UCLA-Harvard Food Law and Policy Conference, a joint annual conference that will focus…

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Johnson & Johnson Praised for Taking Uterine Surgery Tools Off Market

New York Times, July 31, 2014
by Katie Thomas

Johnson & Johnson, which has come under withering criticism for its response to problems with some of its medical devices, won cautious praise from critics on Thursday for its decision…

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FDA Regulation of Mobile Health Technologies

NEJM, July 24, 2014
by Nathan G. Cortez, J.D., I. Glenn Cohen, J.D., and Aaron S. Kesselheim, M.D., J.D., M.P.H.

Petrie-Flom Faculty Director I. Glenn Cohen has published a new co-authored article in the New England Journal of Medicine on FDA regulation of new mobile health technologies. From the article: Medicine…

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Three person IVF plans ‘progress’ in UK:

BBC News, July 22, 2014

A public review into the three person IVF technique has been broadly supportive, says the Department of Health. But a number of technical and scientific details need to be finalised…

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Genetically Engineering Almost Anything

"NovaNext," PBS, July 17, 2014
by Tim DeChant and Eleanor Nelsen

[...] A new technology just announced today has the potential to wipe out diseases, turn back evolutionary clocks, and reengineer entire ecosystems, for better or worse. Because of how deeply this…

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Scientists create first-ever ‘biological pacemaker’ in pig hearts:

Al Jazeera America, July 16, 2014
by Marisa Taylor

Cardiologists have transplanted genes into the hearts of pigs with heart arrhythmias and genetically reprogrammed their defective heart cells into beating again, creating what they’re calling a “biological pacemaker,” according…

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Coming to U.S. for Baby, and Womb to Carry It:

New York Times, July 5, 2014
by Tamar Lewin

[...] In an era of globalization, the market for children crosses national borders; witness the longtime flow of Americans who have gone overseas to adopt babies from South Korea, China,…

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Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Biomedical Ethics Research

Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Biomedical Ethics Research
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

Deadline: Open until filled.

Position Start Date: As negotiated with the successful applicant. Qualifications: Ph.D. or other terminal degree (J.D., M.D.) with experience in bioethics. Must have excellent written and oral communication skills. Experience with normative bioethics analyses, survey…

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Inquisitive Nashville teen finds her egg donor mom

USA Today, June 5, 2014
by Heidi Hall, featuring I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

Originally published as "Nashville teen finds her egg donor mom," The Tennesseean (June 5, 2014). [...] The identity of U.S. sperm and egg donors is protected by default. In the United Kingdom,…

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In a First, Test of DNA Finds Root of Illness

New York Times, June 4, 2014
by Carl Zimmer

Joshua Osborn, 14, lay in a coma at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wis. For weeks his brain had been swelling with fluid, and a battery of tests had…

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When Doctors Need Advice, It Might Not Come From A Fellow Human

Kaiser Health News, June 2, 2014
by Daniela Hernandez

Long Island dermatologist Kavita Mariwalla knows well how to treat acne, burns and rashes. But when a patient came in with a potentially disfiguring case of bullous pemphigoid—a rare skin…

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Phone App Might Predict Manic Episodes In Bipolar Disorder

NPR, May 31, 2014
by Joe Palca

There are smartphone apps for monitoring your diet, your drugs, even your heart. And now a Michigan psychiatrist is developing an app he hopes doctors will someday use to predict…

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Three Positions in Ethics of Technology

Three Positions in Ethics of Technology
3TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology in the Netherlands

Deadline: June 10, 2014

We are looking for three talented PhD students for projects in the areas of: Technology & Ethics (various areas) (Delft University of Technology) Ethics of Technology (various areas) (Eindhoven University of…

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Defeating the ‘Superbugs’:

Al Jazeera America, May 22, 2014
by Kat McGowan

In the battle against disease-causing microbes, the bugs now seem to be winning. Antibiotic drugs, which were once so good at eliminating bacterial infections of all kinds, are rapidly losing…

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Delaying Pregnancy and Parenthood:

The Forum at the Harvard School of Public Health, May 21, 2014
by Featuring I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

In a new report, the National Center for Health Statistics at the CDC has confirmed that the average age at which American women deliver their first babies has increased in the…

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Biostatistics and FDA Regulation:
The Convergence of Science and Law

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein West AB
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Symposium Presented by the Drug Information Association (DIA), the Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI), and the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and…

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FDA approves genetic test as first U.S. alternative to Pap smear

Washington Post, April 24, 2014
by Matthew Perrone

Federal health regulators have cleared a genetic test from Roche as the first U.S.-approved alternative to the Pap smear, the decades-old mainstay of cervical cancer screening. The Food and Drug…

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Vermont Will Require Labeling of Genetically Altered Foods

New York Times, April 23, 2014
by Stephanie Strom

Going further than any state so far, Vermont on Wednesday passed a lawrequiring the labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients. Though the move came in a tiny state far…

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What (If Anything) Is Wrong with Human Enhancement? What (If Anything) Is Right with It?

Tulsa Law Review, vol. 49, 2014
by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

Abstract:  Should human enhancement be prohibited? Subsidized? Mandated? Taxed?  This article is part of a symposium honoring one of my wonderful mentors: Einer Elhauge. It focuses on human enhancement. With…

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Cloning advance using stem cells from human adult reopens ethical questions

Washington Post, April 17, 2014
by Ariana Eunjung Cha

Scientists have grown stem cells from adults using cloning techniques for the first time — bringing them closer to developing patient-specific lines of cells that can be used to treat…

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Hot Topics at the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues:
Plus Q&A on Careers in Law and Bioethics!

Friday, April 11, 2014 12:00 PM
Lectures and Panels
Pound Hall 100
1563 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

This event featured an update from the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues delivered by Michelle Groman (HLS '05), Associate Director at the…

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The Presumption Against Expensive Health Care Consumption

Tulsa Law Review, Vol. 49, Forthcoming, 2014
by Christopher T. Robertson (Affiliate Faculty)

This essay, as part of a symposium in honor of Professor Einer Elhauge, starts with his recognition that, for both epistemic and normative reasons, it remains profoundly difficult to regulate…

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Google Glass embraced at Beth Israel Deaconess:

Boston Globe, April 9, 2014
by Callum Borchers

Dr. Steven Horng launched a Google Glass pilot program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center late last year because he thought the futuristic device could help save lives. One night…

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Welcome 2014-2016 Academic Fellow Rachel Sachs!

Petrie-Flom Center, April 17, 2014

The Petrie-Flom Center is pleased to announce the new 2014-2016 Academic Fellow, Rachel Sachs. Rachel earned her J.D. in 2013 magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she was the Articles Chair of…

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Make it Work!:

Harvard Law Review 128, 2014
by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Co-Director)

This short essay is part of a Harvard Law Review Symposium honoring Justice Breyer on his 20th Year on The Supreme Court. It examines Breyer's opinions and impact on the…

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Health Law Workshop: Hank Greely

Monday, March 24, 2014 5:00 PM
Health Law Workshops
Hauser 105
1575 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Download excerpts from Hank Greely's new book, The End of Sex: The Future of Human Reproduction, here. Hank Greely is Director for the Center…

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2014-2015 Student Fellowship Petrie-Flom Center, Harvard Law School

Petrie-Flom Center, Deadline: May 19, 2014, 9:00am

The Center and Student Fellowship.  The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics is an interdisciplinary research program at Harvard Law School dedicated to the scholarly research of important…

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An Interview with I. Glenn Cohen on Law and Bioscience

OUP Blog, March 14, 2014

There are huge changes taking place in the world of biosciences, and whether it's new discoveries in stem cell research, new reproductive technologies, or genetics being used to make predictions…

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China Cracks Down on DNA Testing

Forbes, March 3, 2014
by Shu-Ching Jean Chen

Genetic testing has grown to be a business big enough in China to warrant the government’s intervention. Early in February, the government quietly put the brakes on the provision of…

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A Powerful New Way to Edit DNA

New York Times, March 3, 2014
by Andrew Pollack

In the late 1980s, scientists at Osaka University in Japan noticed unusual repeated DNA sequences next to a gene they were studying in a common bacterium. They mentioned them in…

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Rare Mutation Kills Off Gene Responsible for Diabetes

New York Times, March 2, 2014
by Gina Kolata

A new study based on genetic testing of 150,000 people has found a rare mutation that protects even fat people from getting Type 2 diabetes. The effect is so pronounced…

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The “Problem” with the European Problem/Solution Approach to Inventive Step

Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association, Wegner's Writings, February 24, 2014
by Harold C. Wegner, reviewing Timo Minssen (Petrie-Flom Visiting Scholar)

From the review: Patent applicants seeking to gain global patent protection beyond their home country borders need a better comparative knowledge of key elements of the patent laws of the several…

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Patent Trolling:

by Robin Feldman and W. Nicholson Price II (Petrie-Flom Academic Fellow)

Abstract: Patent trolls — also known variously as non-practicing entities, patent assertion entities, and patent monetizers — are a top priority on legislative and regulatory reform agendas. In the modern…

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Will your clothing spy on you?:

Fortune, February 13, 2014
by David Whitford, on I. Glenn Cohen (Petrie-Flom Faculty Co-Director)

[...] Like it or not, we have entered the era of assumed ubiquitous snooping, and we have not begun to parse the implications. That was my takeaway from Cohen's lecture,…

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FDA Approves Pill Camera to Screen Colon

ABC News, February 3, 2014
by Matthew Perrone

A kinder, gentler approach to one of the most dreaded exams in medicine is on the way: U.S. regulators have cleared a bite-size camera to help screen patients who have…

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Health Law Year in P/Review

Friday, January 31, 2014 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East B & C
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Watch Event Recordings

Video of this conference is now available at online! (See below for links to specific panels.) At our second Annual Health…

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Ethics and Ontology in Deep Brain Stimulation

Neuroscience, January 30, 2014
by Michael J. Young (Petrie-Flom Student Fellow)

Rapid advancements in the fields of neurology and neuroscience over the past decade have enabled unprecedented progress toward the development of brain-modulating technologies and therapeutics. Central to these advancements are…

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60 million people will get new Google Glass frames covered by insurance

by Dan Gorenstein

It’s a big day for Google Glass. The tech giant has announced a deal with VSP, the country’s largest optic health insurance provider to cover frames for Google Glass. The company…

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Genetic Weapon Against Insects Raises Hope and Fear in Farming

New York Times, January 27, 2014
by Andrew Pollack

Scientists and biotechnology companies are developing what could become the next powerful weapon in the war on pests — one that harnesses a Nobel Prize-winning discovery to kill insects and…

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The Ethicist’s and the Lawyer’s New Clothes:

Radcliffe Institute Science Lecture Series, 5:00pm
by I. Glenn Cohen (Petrie-Flom Faculty Co-Director)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 | 5 PM Sheerr Room, Fay House 10 Garden Street Cambridge, MA 02138 From enhanced exosuits for members of the armed services to clothing that spies…

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