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Course Catalog

700.625.01 Bioethics and the Law

Berman Institute (Bioethics)
3rd term
3 credits
Academic Year:
2019 - 2020
East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • Wednesday,  3:30 - 6:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Joseph Ali
Course Instructors:



Examines central legal cases that address issues in bioethics. Topics covered include reproductive rights, end of life decision-making, informed consent, ownership of human cells, and others. Explores challenges that emerging biotechnologies (e.g., neuroimaging) pose for existing legal doctrine. Discusses evolving regulatory frameworks for oversight of human subjects research. Considers the relationship between legal reasoning and ethical reasoning, with some of the legal literature supplemented by readings from the bioethics literature.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Articulate the rulings of landmark legal cases in bioethics
  2. Identify general principles of constitutional and common law
  3. Critically discuss judicial opinions
  4. Consider how courts may approach new cases that bear on bioethics issues
  5. Describe the relationship between ethics and law
Methods of Assessment:

Participation: 20%, Midterm Essay: 30%, Take-home Final Exam: 50%

Enrollment Restriction:

Enrollment priority given to MBE students. This course is restricted to students who do not already have formal legal training.

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for some students

Consent Note:

Consent required for undergraduate students

For consent, contact:

Special Comments:

Course meets in Deering Hall; LLC Room