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Bioethics and the Law

East Baltimore
4th term
Berman Institute (Bioethics)
3 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Synchronous Online
Class Times:
  • Tuesday,  3:30 - 6:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
  • Anna Mastroianni
Anna Mastroianni



Introduction to the U.S. legal system that analyzes the relationship between law and bioethics. Prepares students to: (1) develop an understanding of the relevance of law for bioethics as a scholarly field and as a profession; (2) become familiar with legal structures, mechanisms, institutions, functions, and sources of law; (3) develop a critical appreciation of the complexity, flexibility, and evolution of law; and (4) develop a set of core legal skills applicable to bioethics scholarship and practice. Specific topic areas include legal duties of health care providers, end-of-life decision-making, ownership in body parts and informed consent, health inequities, assisted reproduction, and public health.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Articulate the relationship between law and bioethics, including the role of bioethicists as legal actors, decisionmakers, mediators, and facilitators
  2. Locate and critically discuss statutes, regulations, and judicial opinions and describe the relationships among those sources of law
  3. Apply relevant law to issues arising in bioethics research, practice, or policy
  4. Draft a traditional legal case brief concisely expressing the facts, legal issue, holding, and rationale for a judicial decision
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 40% Homework
  • 25% Written Assignment(s)
  • 35% Final Paper

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:

No background in law is required to take this course. Course meets in Deering Hall; LLC Room