Valuations of Life: Birth defects, prenatal diagnoses, and disability
Uppsala University, Sweden

Deadline: June 01, 2018

General Description:Definitions of what counts as a valuable life implicitly and explicitly saturate both historical and contemporary narratives about birth defects, prenatal diagnoses, and disability.… Read More

Preventing Mitochondrial Diseases

Trends in Molecular Medicine, Volume 24, Issue 5 (May 2018)
by Eli Y. Adashi and I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

AbstractMutant mitochondrial DNA gives rise to a broad range of incurable inborn maladies. Prevention may now be possible by replacing the mutation-carrying mitochondria of zygotes or oocytes at risk with… Read More

Assisted Reproduction in Israel: Law, Religion, and Culture

Brill Research Perspectives, March 20, 2018
by Avishalom Westreich

From the article: The theme of this composition is the right to procreate in the Israeli context. Our discussion of this right includes the implementation of the right to procreate, restrictions on the… Read More

Can Lost Embryos Give Rise to a Wrongful-Death Suit?

The Atlantic , April 5, 2018
by Sara Zhang, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

From the article: Over a single weekend in March, an unprecedented disaster hit fertility clinics—twice. First came the news that the University Hospitals Fertility Center in Ohio, lost more… Read More

Assisted Reproduction in Israel: Law, Religion, and Culture

Brill, March 20, 2018
by Avishalom Westreich (Visiting Scholar)

From the article: The theme of this composition is the right to procreate in the Israeli context. Our discussion of this right includes the implementation of the right to procreate, restrictions on the… Read More

Preventing Mitochondrial Disease

Obstetrics & Gynecology, March 2018 - Volume 131 - Issue 3
by Eli Y. Adashi and I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

Abstract: In a possible first, the heritable transmission of a fatal mitochondrial DNA disease (Leigh syndrome) may have been prevented by replacing the mutation-bearing mitochondria of oocytes with donated… Read More

Divorced couple take their fight over frozen embryos to Colorado Supreme Court

ABC News, January 10, 2018
by Andrew Fies, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

From the story: What happens when the parents who created frozen embryos go to war with each other over whether to procreate with them or destroy them? That's the battle now being waged before the… Read More

Court to weigh if one parent has the right to use frozen embryos if the other objects

Washington Post, January 9, 2018
by Ariana Eunjung Cha, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

From the article: On Tuesday, the Colorado Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Rookses' case. Although several other cases have made their way to states' high courts, legal… Read More

The Debate over Postmortem Sperm Retrieval of Fallen Soldiers

Jerusalem Post, November 22, 2017
by Avishalom Westreich (Visiting Scholar Alumnus)

This essay is based in part on the workshop the Petrie-Flom Center hosted on October 23, 2017, in which then-Visiting Scholar Avishalom Westreich presented his research-in-progress to a diverse group of… Read More

Artificial wombs are coming. They could completely change the debate over abortion.

Vox, August 23, 2017
by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

From the article: There’s a scientific development on the horizon that could upend the abortion debate: artificial wombs. The research remains preliminary, but in April a group of scientists at the… Read More

How New Technology Could Threaten a Woman’s Right to Abortion

Gizmodo, July 28, 2017
by Kristen V. Brown, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

From the article: [...] It could also complicate—and even jeopardize—the right to an abortion in an America in which that right is predicated on whether a fetus is “viable.” “The… Read More

Locked Out Of Asia, Americans Are Turning To Eastern Europe To Hire Gestational Surrogates

HuffPost, July 25, 2017
by Sarah Elizabeth Richards, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

From the article: [...] While it’s impossible to know “what’s presented to you versus what’s really occurring,” Harvard Law School Professor I. Glenn Cohen said, fertility… Read More

‘Sperminator’ Ari Nagel spreads more seed on recent Israel visit

Times of Israel, July 6, 2017
by Renee Ghert-Zand, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

From the article:  [...] According to Harvard law professor and bioethics expert I. Glenn Cohen, there is no law that prohibits Nagel’s sperm donations. At the same time, there are not… Read More

Babies From Skin Cells? Prospect Is Unsettling to Some Experts

New York Times, May 16, 2017
by Tamar Lewin, citing I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

From the article: Three prominent academics in medicine and law sounded an alarm about the possible consequences in a paper published this year. “I.V.G. may raise the specter of ‘embryo farming’… Read More

ORDER NOW & GET 20% OFF! Law, Religion, and Health in the United States

Cambridge University Press, July 2017
by Holly Fernandez Lynch (Executive Director), I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director), and Elizabeth Sepper

About the Book: While the law can create conflict between religion and health, it can also facilitate religious accommodation and protection of conscience. Finding this balance is critical to addressing… Read More

Call for Papers
AMA Journal of Ethics

Deadline: Various.

The AMA Journal of Ethics® is an open-access, MEDLINE-indexed online journal of expert-solicited and peer-reviewed content that receives over one million visits annually (and growing). Our… Read More

Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy: Unmade in the USA

The JAMA Forum, February 14, 2017
by Eli Y. Adashi and I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

From the article: Mitochondrial replacement therapy, an experimental approach that takes aim at maternally inherited mitochondrial diseases, is on the verge of being implemented in the United Kingdom,… Read More

A New Fertility Technique Could Make ‘Designer Babies’ a Reality

Gizmodo, January 13, 2017
by Kristen V. Brown, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

From the article: In vitro gametogenesis, or IVG, is a technique that could allow any kind of cell to be programmed into a sperm or an egg cell. This means, theoretically, that you could go on a terrible… Read More

The Promise and Peril of Emerging Reproductive Technologies

Science Translational Medicine, January 11, 2017, Vol. 9, Issue 372
by By I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director), George Q. Daley, and Eli Y. Adashi

Harvard scientists call for proactively addressing legal, ethical challenges before an experimental technique reaches the clinic At a glance: In-vitro gametogenesis is an experimental technique that allows… Read More

How Is It Even Possible For Sofía Vergara’s Embryos To Sue Her? A Harvard Law Prof Weighs In

Refinery29, December 8, 2016
by I. Glenn Cohen

From the article: The already-unusual legal battleover Modern Family actress Sofía Vergara’s frozen embryos reached a surprising new chapter on Tuesday — when the embryos… Read More

Should We Ban Anonymous Sperm Donation?

Vocativ, November 30, 2016
by Tracy Clark-Flory, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

From the article: There’s a push underway to change the way that most sperm is donated in the United States — which is to say, anonymously. That’s largely because anonymity can… Read More

Call for Abstracts: The Ethics of “Making Babies”
Harvard Medical School

Deadline: January 31, 2017, 5:00 PM

The use of assisted reproductive technologies raises far-reaching ethical and legal implications, yet there is little regulatory oversight of these medical procedures in the United States. In a field marked… Read More

“Sperm Donor Anonymity and Compensation: An Experiment with American Sperm Donors”

Journal of Law and the Biosciences (JLB), November 23, 2016
by Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director), Travis Coan, Michelle Ottey, and Christina Boyd

Prohibiting Sperm Donor Anonymity Could Reduce the Number of Donors:A new study published in the Journal of Law and the Biosciences (JLB) suggests that prohibiting anonymous sperm donation would result… Read More

Professor offers basics of bioethics and the law in 90 minutes

Harvard Gazette, September 20, 2016
by Deborah Blackwell, reviewing lecture by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

On September 13, 2016, Petrie-Flom Faculty Director I. Glenn Cohen delivered a lecture at the Harvard Ed Portal as part of his online EdX course "Bioethics: The Law, Medicine, and Ethics of Reproductive… Read More

Is Medical Tourism Ethical?

The Greenwall Foundation, September 2016

Petrie-Flom Faculty Director I. Glenn Cohen served as a Greenwall Foundation Faculty Scholar, Class of 2015. The Greenwall Foundation recently published a profile of Cohen's project,… Read More

Bioethics and the Law of Reproductive Technology and Genetics

Harvard Ed Portal, Allston, MA, September 13, 2016

Genetic enhancements. Reproductive technologies. Animal-human hybrids. Through new technologies and discoveries in science, we are able to do amazing things. However, these new developments have brought… Read More

Bioethics: The Law, Medicine, and Ethics of Reproductive Technologies and Genetics

Petrie-Flom Center, Course begins September 6, 2016. Register now!

Bioethics: The Law, Medicine, and Ethics of Reproductive Technologies and Genetics An introduction to the study of bioethics and the application of legal and ethical reasoning. Course begins on September… Read More

5 ways to avoid fighting over frozen embryos

Futurity, July 18, 2016
by David Orenstein-Brown, citing I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

[...] In a new paper, two experts review this history and propose five specific guidelines. The results could offer clarity for disputes over any of the estimated million or so frozen embryos in the US.… Read More

Embryo Disposition Disputes: Controversies and Case Law

Hastings Center Report, July/August 2016, Vol. 46, Issue 5
by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director) & Eli Y. Adashi

Abstract: When prospective parents use in vitro fertilization, many of them hope to generate more embryos than they intend to implant immediately. The technology often requires multiple attempts to reach… Read More

New EdX Course: Bioethics: The Law, Medicine, and Ethics of Reproductive Technologies and Genetics
Taught by Petrie-Flom Faculty Director Glenn Cohen

Deadline: September 06, 2016

About this courseBioethics provides an overview of the legal, medical, and ethical questions around reproduction and human genetics and how to apply legal reasoning to these questions. This law course… Read More

Religion and Reproductive Technology

In Law, Religion, and Health in the United States (Holly Fernandez Lynch, I. Glenn Cohen, Elizabeth Sepper, eds.), forthcoming 2017, Cambridge University Press, 2017 (forthcoming)
by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

Abstract: This chapter will examines places where law, religion, and reproductive technology conflict. It examines four particular intersections: The first involves religiously motivated denials of service,… Read More

Going Germline: Mitochondrial Replacement as a Guide to Genome Editing

Cell, February 25, 2016, Vol. 164, Issue 5
by By Eli Y. Adashi & I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

Mitochondrial replacement (MR) serves as a crucial test case and learning guide for the scientific, ethical, and regulatory challenges of future reproductive breakthroughs. The lessons learned from the… Read More

Complexifying Commodification, Consumption, ART, and Abortion

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics , July 2015, Vol. 43, Issue 2
by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

Abstract:  This commentary on Madeira's paper complicates the relationships between commodification, consumption, abortion, and assisted reproductive technologies she draws in two ways. First,… Read More

NOW ONLINE: I. Glenn Cohen Discusses Modern Fertility Technologies and Benefits

Chronicle (WCVB/ABC Boston), April 13, 2015
by Shayna Seymour, interviewing I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

Show Abstract: The birds and the bees are still important – but today's couples eager to start a family can also rely on Big Data to get them to parenthood. Tonight Shayna Seymour discovers… Read More

Transatlantic Lessons in Regulation of Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy

Science, April 10, 2015
by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director), with Eli Adashi and Julian Savulescu

Cambridge, Mass., April 9, 2015 – A paper forthcoming on Friday in Science discusses the regulation of a new technology that gives hope to women who carry genetic disease. Mutant mitochondrial DNA… Read More

Trio contrast approaches taken by Britain versus the US concerning mitochondrial replacement therapy

MedicalXpress, April 10, 2015
by Bob Yirka, citing I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director) et al.

Glenn Cohen, with Harvard University, Julian Savulescu, with the University of Oxford and Eli Adashi with Brown University have together written and published a Perspectives piece in the journal Science,… Read More

Is UK evaluation of reproductive tech a model for US?

MedicalXpress, April 10, 2015
by David Orenstein, citing I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director) et al.

When the United Kingdom resoundingly approved mitochondrial replacement therapy in February, it became the first country to give people this new medical option. In parallel it gave the United… Read More

Patients with Passports: Medical Tourism, Law, and Ethics

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, February 24, 2015
by Robert Klitzman, leading discussion with I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

Live WebstreamWatch the event live online! DescriptionMedical tourism is a growing, multi-billion dollar industry involving millions of patients who travel abroad each year to get health care. Some seek… Read More

Third Annual Health Law Year in P/Review collaborative blogging with Health Affairs

Petrie-Flom, February 5, 2015

The Third Annual Health Law Year in P/Review was a big success!  Video will be posted on our website shortly, but our presenters will be posting on their respective topics in a collaborative blog… Read More

Law Professor Discusses Medical Tourism

Harvard Crimson, November 20, 2014
by Katherine H. Scott, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

When most people hear the word “tourism,” they immediately think of flocking to the sandy beaches of the Caribbean or exploring museums in a European city. For Harvard Law School graduate I.… Read More

Freezing Eggs to Put off Pregnancy - Clever Business Move but Not Magic Bullet: Experts

Ria Novosti, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director), October 20, 2014

From the article: [...] Although companies consider their offer to freeze eggs to be a benefit for female employees, Glenn Cohen, a Professor of Law at Harvard University, believes there is a different… Read More

Egg freezing message: Lean in, and save the kids for later

The Boston Globe, October 16, 2014
by Joanna Weiss, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

From the article: [...] Glenn Cohen, a professor at Harvard Law School, worries that an egg-freezing perk could function as a sorting mechanism, too. Soon, he fears, we’ll be able to divide the workplace… Read More

Facebook and Apple Are Now Paying for Egg Freezing

HuffPost Live, October 15, 2014
by Nancy Redd, interviewing I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

In this segment of HuffPost Live, host Nancy Redd interviews Faculty Director I. Glenn Cohen to discuss the recent news that Facebook and Apple will now offer their employees the medical option of freezing… Read More

Apple, Facebook Will Pay for Employees to Freeze Their Eggs

ABC World News, October 14, 2014
by Alyssa Newcomb and Catherine Cole, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

From the article: [...] Glenn Cohen, a professor at Harvard Law School and an expert in the intersection of bioethics and law, said the perk could be perceived in several different lights. "The good is… Read More

Jeanne Shaheen says Scott Brown backed bill to let employers use religious opt-out on mammograms

PolitiFact, October 10, 2014
by Louis Jacobson, quoting Holly Fernandez Lynch (Executive Director)

From the article:  [...] Holly Fernandez Lynch, a Harvard bioethicist and author of Conflicts of Conscience in Health Care: An Institutional Compromise, called the claim "technically true" but "a… Read More

Call for Submissions: Journal of Law and the Biosciences

Deadline: August 29, 2014

Journal of Law and the Biosciences (JLB) is actively soliciting original manuscripts, responses, essays, and book reviews devoted to the examination of issues related to the intersection of law and… Read More

Supreme Court Decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby

by Supreme Court of the United States

Read the Supreme Court's decision in favor of the right of the owners of "closely-held for-profit corporations" to refuse to provide insurance coverage for contraception and contraceptive devices… Read More

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,… Read More

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 last 40 years. The… Read More

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.… Read More

Journal of Law and the Biosciences (JLB) Soliciting Commentaries

Deadline: May 05, 2014

Journal of Law and the Biosciences is pleased to solicit Peer Commentaries for the following articles: The Regulation of Cognitive Enhancement Devices, by Hannah Maslen, Thomas Douglas, Roi Cohen Kadosh,… Read More

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 about… Read More

Past sperm and egg donors split on losing anonymity

Reuters, December 21, 2013
by Shereen Jegtvig, quoting I. Glenn Cohen

[...] The ethical considerations of egg and sperm donor anonymity are complicated, researchers said. "Those in favor of non-anonymity or mandatory identification rules tend to argue from the perspective… Read More

These Two Americans Want Babies Through Indian Surrogates.

The New Republic, December 10, 2013
by Jennifer Kirby, citing I. Glenn Cohen

[...] An estimated 2,000 foreign babies are born to Indian surrogates each year, according to research in the forthcoming book Patients With Passports: Medical Tourism, Ethics, and Law, by… Read More

Announcing the New Journal of Law and the Biosciences

Oxford University Press, Forthcoming 2014
by Petrie-Flom Center and HLS, Duke University, and Stanford University

The Petrie-Flom Center and Harvard Law School are delighted to announce our partnership with Duke University, Stanford University, and Oxford University Press to launch a new peer-reviewed, open access,… Read More

Supreme Court to decide Obamacare birth control mandate

Washington Times, November 26, 2013
by Tom Howell Jr., quoting Holly Fernandez Lynch

[...] Ms. Lynch said the outcome is a particularly hard one to predict. But she thinks the court will dispense with the constitutional claims and focus more heavily on religious-freedom protection… Read More

Can You Buy Sperm Donor Identification?

Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, October 23, 2013
by I. Glenn Cohen and Travis G. Coan

In the United States, most sperm donations are anonymous. By contrast, many developed nations require sperm donors to be identified, typically requiring new sperm (and egg) donors to put identifying information… Read More