‘Miraculous’ stem cell therapy has sickened people in five states

Washington Post, February 27, 2019
by William Wan and Laurie McGinley

[...] Over the past year, at least 17 people have been hospitalized after being injected with products made from umbilical cord blood, a little-known but fast-growing segment of the booming stem cell… Read More

FDA: Young-blood transfusions provide ‘no proven clinical benefit’ for aging, Alzheimer’s

STAT, February 19, 2019
by Rebecca Robbins

he quest to rejuvenate aging people with the blood of young donors has generated paying customers, captured the popular imagination, and, now, prompted a warning from the Food and Drug Administration.… 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

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

How Gene Cloning In Pigs Could Help Humans Fight Disease

Greater Boston (WGBH, Boston), August 15, 2017
by Jim Braude, interviewing I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

For the next great medical advancement, look not to the test tube, but to the farm. Experiments that were done here in Boston could make it possible to one-day transplant organs from pics into people.… Read More

Order now and get 30% off! Specimen Science

MIT Press, September 2017
by Edited by Holly Fernandez Lynch (Executive Director), Barbara E. Bierer, I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director), and Suzanne M. Rivera

Order through MIT Press and receive 30% off using discount code MSPECIMEN30: Order now! This edited volume stems from a conference in 2015 that brought together leading experts to address key… 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

Science Needs Your Cells

New York Times, April 21, 2017
by Holly Fernandez Lynch (Executive Director) and Steven Joffe

Biospecimens are essential to medical progress, but just medical waste to patients. Let's promote the science. From the op-ed: Many aspects of Ms. Lacks’s story reflect genuine injustice: the… Read More

Addressing the ethical issues raised by synthetic human entities with embryo-like features

eLife, March 21, 2017
by John Aach, Jeantine Lunshof, Eswar Iyer, and George M. Church

On November 7, 2016, the Petrie-Flom Center hosted the conference "The Ethics of Early Embryo Research & the Future of the 14-Day Rule," which convened experts in bioethics, stem cell research,… Read More

Academic Fellow Alumna Michelle N. Meyer Named in Forbes List of 10 Favorite

Forbes, December 15, 2016
by David Shaywitz

In a year characterized by the extremes of rhetoric, healthcare entrepreneurs have been blessed with a number of thoughtful commentaries representing the opposite extreme. The selections cited below are… Read More

Review of Human Subjects Research Regulation: Perspectives on the Future

American Journal of Bioethics, Vol. 16, Issue 12 (2016)
by Erin Phinney Johnson

From the review: Overall, the editors present an intriguing look at the concerns currently facing human subjects research regulation and provide a number of suggestions for how to go about solving some… 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

EVENT POSTPONED: HLS Library Book Talk: Charles Fried on Medical Experimentation

Harvard Law School, TBD
by featuring I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at noon Harvard Law School Room WCC 2036 Milstein East B/C 1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge Lunch will be provided.   More About Medical Experimentation: Personal… Read More

RECEIVE 30% OFF! Nudging Health

Johns Hopkins University Press, October 2016
by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director), Holly Fernandez Lynch (Executive Director), and Christopher T. Robertson (Academic Fellow alumnus), eds.

Abstract of the Introduction:  This introductory chapter to the edited volume Nudging Health: Health Law and Behavioral Economics (I. Glenn Cohen, Holly Fernandez Lynch, Christopher T. Robertson,… Read More

Rights, Nudging, and the Good of Others

16 American Journal of Bioethics 11, Published online October 17, 2016
by Luke Gelinas (Petrie-Flom/Harvard Catalyst Fellow in Clinical Research Ethics)

Luke Gelinas, the Petrie-Flom/Harvard Catalyst Fellow in Clinical Research Ethics, has a new article commentary out in the American Journal of Bioethics responding to a new article (in the same… Read More

Issues With Tissues

16 American Journal of Bioethics 11, Published online October 17, 2016
by Emily Largent (Student Fellow Alumna)

Student Fellow Alumna Emily Largent has a new article commentary out in the American Journal of Bioethics, in which she responds to a new article (in the same issue) on The ethics of organ donor registration… Read More

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

Petrie-Flom Center, September 26, 2016

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… 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

Federal Government’s Proposed Expansion of Regulation of Biospecimen Research Should Be Reconsidered

Biopreservation and Biobanking, September 2016
by Christopher T. Robertson and Jonathan D. Loe

Note: The full article is behind a paywall. Abstract: In September, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, together with other federal agencies, announced proposed changes to the rules governing… 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

Organ Transplant Troubles

WGBH News, August 18, 2016
by Jim Braude interviewing I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director), Adel Bozorgzadeh, & Natasha Dolgin

Thousands of patients are denied potentially lifesaving transplants while donated organs are being thrown away. Why? Harvard law Professor Glenn Cohen (@CohenProf), UMass Transplant Surgeon Dr.… Read More

The FDA is prohibited from going germline

Science, August 5, 2016
by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director) and Eli Y. Adashi

Petrie-Flom Faculty Director I. Glenn Cohen has co-authored a new article in Science magazine addressing recent legislation preventing the FDA from approving any research "in which a human embryo… Read More

A designer will grow Alexander McQueen’s skin in a lab to use for leather bags and jackets

Quartz, July 16, 2016
by Marc Bain, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

[...] Glenn Cohen, an expert on the intersection of bioethics and law at Harvard Law School, says it’s “very common” for researchers to take tissue and use it for research. These… 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

FDA Regulations Limit Blood Donations From Gay Men

CBS San Francisco, June 14, 2016
by Holly Quan, featuring I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

Excerpt from the article: On World Blood Donation Day and in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting, a leading bioethicist Tuesday called for a change in the FDA’s policy regulating blood donations… Read More

After The Orlando Massacre, Many In The LGBTQ Community Are Turned Away From Giving Blood

Greater Boston (WGBH), June 14, 2016
by Nikki Blank, interviewing I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

Excerpt from interview: Early in the 1980's, there was a lifetime ban or deferral for any man who had ever had sex with another man. Even once. But in May, the FDA released new recommendations… Read More

Scholarship: DIBSS / Dubrovnik International Bioethics Summer School
Global Bioethics Initiative with School of Medicine, University of Zagreb

Deadline: June 10, 2016

Global Bioethics Initiative in partnership with University of Zagreb School of Medicine and Inter-University Centre invites students and professionals worldwide to attend the DIBSS – Dubrovnik… Read More

Learning the wrong lesson on privacy from Henrietta Lacks

Washington Post, January 8, 2016
by Christopher Robertson (Student Fellow Alumnus) and Jonathan D. Loe

From the article: In her acclaimed 2010 book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” Rebecca Skloot tells the story of a poor black woman with cervical cancer who checked into Johns Hopkins… Read More

Health Law, Policy, and Bioethics: Cross-Registration Opportunity for Harvard Students
Harvard Medical School

Deadline: January 15, 2016

Cross-registration is available for "Health Law, Policy, and Bioethics," a new course being offered as part of the HMS Master’s program in bioethics. A course description is provided below. Interested… Read More

Fellowship in Transplant Ethics
Cleveland Clinic

Deadline: November 01, 2015

The Cleveland Clinic invites applications to the Cleveland Clinic Fellowship in Transplant Ethics. The Cleveland Clinic is an ideal environment for the study of ethics in transplantation, with its history… Read More

New Review of Academic Fellow Rachel Sachs on Fecal Transplants

The Incidental Economist, June 1, 2015
by Nicholas Bagley

Rachel E. Sachs' new paper "Ensuring the Safe and Effective FDA Regulation of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation," coauthored with Carolyn Edelstein, has been reviewed by Nicholas Bagley on The… Read More

Faculty Director I. Glenn Cohen: New Blood-Donor Policy, Same Gay Stigma

New York Times, May 21, 2015
by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director) and Eli Y. Adashi

Faculty Director I. Glenn Cohen has co-authored an op-ed for the New York Times on the FDA's new blood donor policy. From the piece: LAST week, the Food and Drug Administration released highly… Read More

Review of Human subjects research regulation: perspectives on the future

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, Vol. 36, Issue 2, April 2015
by Lydia Stewart Ferreira (Visiting Scholar)

Petrie-Flom Visiting Scholar Lydia Stewart Ferreira, currently Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and Osgoode Hall Law School, recently published a review… Read More

An Interview with I. Glenn Cohen on Selling Human Organs

Talks on Law, March 2015
by Joel Cohen interviewing I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

Faculty Director I. Glenn Cohen joins Joel Cohen from Talks on Law to discuss selling human organs. With millions of Americans waiting for life saving organ transplants, why are human organ sales… Read More

“My Body, My Bank”

Texas Law Review, Vol. 93, No. 4, 2015
by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

Abstract:       This essay reviews Kara Swanson’s "Banking on the Body: The Market in Blood, Milk, and Sperm in Modern America" (Harvard University Press, 2014) and… Read More

Innovator in Residence
Department of Health and Human Services

Deadline: April 01, 2015

A rapidly growing public health startup, ORGANIZE, is seeking to hire a forward-thinking, entrepreneurial individual to serve a two-year appointment of Innovator In Residence (IIR) at the Department of… Read More

FDA plans to end prohibition on blood donation by gay men, with conditions

PBS News Hour, December 23, 2014
by Gwen Ifill, interviewing I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

"[...] the ban that we had in place was really outdated. It dates back to 1983, the early days of the HIV crisis, and a few things have changed since then. First of all our ability to test and test quickly… Read More

F.D.A. Easing Ban on Gays, to Let Some Give Blood

New York Times, December 23, 2014
by Sabrina Tavernise, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

[...] “This is a major victory for gay civil rights,” said I. Glenn Cohen, a law professor at Harvard who specializes in bioethics and health. “We’re leaving behind the old view… Read More

FDA Announces Plans to End Lifetime Ban on Gay Men Donating Blood

Vice News, December 23, 2014
by Colleen Curry, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

[...] Harvard Law School bioethics and the law professor I. Glenn Cohen told VICE News that while he thought the FDA's proposed policy change is a good first step, it does not go far enough. According… Read More

US lifts ban on gay men donating blood — as long as they don’t have sex with other men

Vox, December 23, 2014
by Sarah Kliff and Julia Belluz, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

[...] Glenn Cohen, a Harvard Law professor who wrote about the blood donor rule in JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association, sees a one-year deferral as an interim step, but thinks it's… Read More

FDA Advisors Not Sold on Lifting Ban on Gay Men Giving Blood

Philly.com, December 3, 2014
by Dennis Thomson, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

[...] The FDA first adopted the policy at the dawn of the AIDS crisis. However, changing times and technological advances have rendered the decades-old ban obsolete, according to Glenn Cohen, who directs… 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

Organs Without Borders? Allocating Transplant Organs, Foreigners, and the Importance of the Natio…

Social Science Research Network, October 19, 2014
by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

Abstract:       Most of the discussion of market or non-market forms of allocating and procuring organs takes as its unit of analysis the nation state, or, less commonly a… 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

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

Human Subjects Research Regulation

MIT Press, August 2014
by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director) and Holly Fernandez Lynch (Executive Director), eds.

Human Subjects Research Regulation: Perspectives on the Future (MIT Press 2014), co-edited by Petrie-Flom Center Faculty Director, I. Glenn Cohen, and Executive Director, Holly Fernandez Lynch, stems from… Read More

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

Deadline: July 31, 2014

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… 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

The First Issue of Journal of Law and Biosciences Is Now Available!

Petrie-Flom Center, February 27, 2014

We are pleased to announce that the first issue of Journal of Law and the Biosciences (JLB) is now available online. The articles are: Knoppers, Bartha M., Edward S. Dove, & Ma'n H. Zawati.… Read More

Legal Aspects of Biobanking as Key Issues for Personalized Medicine & Translational Exploitation

by Timo Minssen (Petrie-Flom Visiting Scholar) and Jens Schovsbo

Abstract: This perspective-article provides an overview on selected legal aspects of biobanking. It discusses these issues with a focus on public biobanks in a university setting and the specific… Read More

VIDEO NOW AVAILABLE: Stem Cell Therapies:

Institute of Medicine, November 18, 2013
by Co-organized by I. Glenn Cohen

Stem cells hold tremendous potential to advance health and medicine. Through replacement of damaged cells and organs or supporting intrinsic repair, stem cell offer promising treatments for debilitating… Read More

Genes without Patents

Harvard Gazette, November 14, 2013
by Alvin Powell, featuring I. Glenn Cohen

As Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan questioned Myriad Genetics’ attorney about patenting genes, Chris Hansen rejoiced. The attorney said that yes, genes should be patentable. But it was only under… Read More

The Future of Human Subjects Research Regulation

This conference brought together a variety of experts on human subjects research to discuss the 2011 Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and offer suggestions for how to best regulate human subjects… Read More

Biobanks: DNA and Research

The Hastings Center

This briefing chapter surveys key ethical challenges surrounding biospecimens, including issues of consent, risk, and privacy; disclosure of research results; intellectual property; and biobank governance. Read More

“The Tissue Issue”: Recent Developments in Biospecimen Research

by American Health Lawyers Association

A survey of many of the recent legal developments related to biospecimens, including research regulation, state developments, and proposed amendments to HIPAA. Read More

Guidance on Research Involving Coded Private Information or Biological Specimens

Office for Human Research Protections

This document seeks to explain when research involving biospecimens constitutes human subjects research for the purpose of federal regulations. Read More

International Compilation of Human Research Standards

by Office for Human Research Protections

This list includes international laws, regulations, and guidelines governing the use of human biological materials. Read More

Moore v. Regents of University of California

This seminal case held that patients generally do not own their biological materials once excised or the subsequent products of those materials, but do have consent rights. Read More

Greenberg v. Miami Children’s Hospital

This case addressed a variety of legal claims lodged by specimen donors after researchers sought to commercialize their findings in a manner the donors did not expect.   Read More

Washington University v. Catalona

Another key case regarding biospecimen ownership and disposition via consent forms. Read More

2011 ANPRM to the Common Rule

Department of Health and Human Services

In 2011, the US government proposed a variety of changes to the regulations applicable to human subjects research, and in particular, several changes related to consent and identifiability of biospecimens… Read More

Found Your DNA on the Web: Reconciling Privacy and Progress

Hastings Center Report
by Amy Gutmann and James Wagner

This essay describes some of the privacy issues associated with biospecimen research, with reference to two additional resources: a study by Gymrek et al. in which supposedly deidentified specimens were… Read More

The Havasupai Indian Tribe Case — Lessons for Research Involving Stored Biologic Samples

by Michelle Mello and Leslie Wolf

This short article provides a synopsis of a key case regarding what constitutes adequate informed consent for biospecimens collected for research to be stored and used in future, possibly unrelated studies. Read More

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

by Rebecca Skloot

This book tells the story of HeLa cells, a tremendously important cell line for scientific research – but developed from cells taken without the patient’s knowledge or consent. Read More

State Laws Regarding the Retention and Use of Residual Newborn Screening Blood Samples

by Michelle H. Lewis et al.

After newborn screening has been completed, many states retain residual newborn screening dried blood samples for various purposes, including program evaluation, quality assurance, and biomedical research.… Read More

Perceptions of Efficacy, Morality, and Politics of Potential Cadaveric Organ Transplantation Reforms

Law and Contemporary Problems, Forthcoming
by Christopher T. Robertson, David V. Yokum, and Megan S. Wright

We sought to explore the political feasibility of potential policy reforms to address the shortage of cadaveric organs for transplantation in America. We recruited 730 human subjects from an online population… Read More

Anonymity, the Production of Goods, and Institutional Design

Fordham Law Review, Forthcoming
by Jeffrey Skopek

Abstract: In this article, I demonstrate that anonymity has been misconceived as an aspect of privacy, and that understanding this mistake reveals a powerful and underutilized set of legal tools for facilitating… Read More