POLS 323 – Biomedicine and the Law

Spring 2005

Andrea Bonnicksen, Zulauf 401 (753-7059), albcorn@niu.edu

Office hours: Tuesday, Thursday 2:00 – 3:10 and by arrangement

 

This semester we will examine legal and social regulation relating to informed consent, end-of-life decision making, assisted reproductive technologies, and other subjects related to biomedical policy and ethics. Using a legal casebook, we will review cases, essays, and questions that relate to the role of autonomy in contemporary biomedical law. In this class you can expect to (l) understand the role of precedent in the evolution of law, (2) trace the development of law in specific areas of medicine, (3) gain experience in briefing cases, and (4) gain a foundation for grappling with legal issues remaining in contemporary biomedical ethics.

 

TEXTBOOK:

Marsha Garrison and Carl E. Schneider, The Law of Bioethics: Individual Autonomy and

            Social Regulation. St. Paul, MN: The West Group, 2003.

 

1.   INTRODUCTION

January 18, 20

      Garrison and Schneider, 1-26

            Nature of illness

            Hippocratic Oath and AMA Principles of Medical Ethics

            Bioethical principles

            The question of regulation

 

2.  AUTONOMY AND INFORMED CONSENT

January 25, 27, February 1, 3

Garrison and Schneider, 27-54, 61-63, 70- 108, 133-136, 146-150

            Informed consent

            Canterbury v. Spence (1972)

            Principles of informed consent

 

3. LAW AT THE END OF LIFE

    February 8, 10, 15, 17

    Garrison and Schneider, 190-203,  207-215, 219-224, 233-246, 267-283, 289-308,

            321-322, 350-370

            Introduction

            Defining death: In re Welfare of Bowman (1980)

            Relationship between death and organ transplantation

            Changing the definition of death? In re T.A.C.P. (1992)

Stopping end of life treatment

Do Not Resuscitate orders

When the patient is not dying: Bouvia v. Superior Court (1986)

                                                  McKay v. Bergstedt (1990)

Patient autonomy

Religious duties: In re Matter of Dubreuil (1993)

Leaving evidence of wishes: Cruzan v. Director 497 U.S. 261 (1990)

Advance directives: sample laws, enforcing ADs, drafting ADs

           

TEST # 1  (IN-CLASS)  FEBRUARY 22

 

4. CHOOSING CHILDREN

    February 24, March 1, 3, 8, 10

    Garrison and Schneider, 825-884

            Frozen embryos: Davis v. Davis (1992)

            Research using embryos: Lifchez v. Hartigan (1990)

            Determining parenthood: Johnson v. Calvert (1993)

                                                     Moschetta v. Moschetta (1994)

                                                     In re Buzzanca (1998)

            Regulating assisted reproductive technologies

 

5. THE BODY AS COMMODITY

     March 22, 24, 29, 31

     Garrison and Schneider, 645-702, 707-716, 722-738

            Moore v. Regents of the University of California (1990)

            Hecht v. Superior Court (Kane) (1993)

McFall v. Shimp (1978)

Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (1987)

State of Florida v. Powell (1986)

Retrieving spermatozoa after death

Need for organs

Mandated choice proposal

Marketing human organs

Leaving the field

Marketing ova and spermatozoa

 

TEST # 2  (IN-CLASS)   APRIL 5

 

6. DECIDING FOR PATIENTS WHO ARE NOT COMPETENT

    April 7, 12, 14, 19, 21 

    Garrison and Schneider, 467-475, 485-493, 506-512, 555-594, 601-608

            Deciding competence: Lane v. Candura (1978)

When patients were once competent: In re Conroy (1984)

Substituted judgment and best interest standards

Making medical decisions for children

The older child

Newborn infants

Conjoined twins

 

TEST # 3 (TAKE-HOME)   DISTRIBUTED APRIL 12; DUE APRIL 26

 

7. PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE

    April 26, 28

    Garrison and Schneider, 326-337, 350-370, 399-413, 431-439, 451-457

            The case of Diane

            Withdrawing life-sustaining treatment: Cruzan v. Director 497 U.S. 261 (1990)

            Physician-assisted suicide: Washington v. Glucksberg 521 U.S. 702 (1997)

            Oregon legislation permitting physician-assisted suicide

            Netherlands legislation permitting physician-assisted suicide

 

8. MATERNAL-FETAL CONFLICT

      May 3, 5

      Garrison and Schneider, 739-765

            Abortion: Roe v. Wade 410 U.S. 113 (1973)

            Abortion: Planned Parenthood v. Casey 505 U.S. 833 (1992)  

                      

TEST # 4  (IN-CLASS)  MAY 12   4:00 p.m. – 5:50 p.m.

 

USEFUL WEBSITES

            oyez.org (U.S.Supreme Court)

            http://thomas.loc.gov (U.S. legislative, executive, judicial branches)

            uscourts.gov

            supremecourtus.gov

            findlaw.com

            See also postings on Blackboard for POLS 323

 

GRADES AND OTHER MATTERS

Grades will be based on three in-class and one take-home exam worth 50 points each and a participation score worth 30 points.

 

In-class exam # 1                       50 points                    February 22

In-class exam # 2                        50 points                   April 5

Take-home exam due                  50 points                   April 26

In-class exam # 3                        50 points                   May 12

Participation                                30 points

                                                    _______

                                                 230 points

 

207 – 230 = A; 184 – 206 = B; 161 – 183 = C; 138 – 160 = D; below l38 = F

 

In-class exams.--In-class exams will be given February 22, April 5, and May 12. The first of these exams will be open-book. If this format works well and people do their own writing, the second and third in-class exams will be open-book also. Make-up exams will be given only for documented medical reasons or a death in the family and only if the instructor is notified by telephone BEFORE the examination (753-7059).

 

Take-home exam.--The take-home exam will be distributed April 12 and will be due on April 26. Unlike the in-class exams, it may be comprehensive; i.e., it may cover topics from the entire semester. It is to be double-spaced and typed and it will have a page limitation. It will be penalized for lateness. Papers will not be accepted electronically.

 

Participation. – All class members are expected to read the material before it is covered in class and participate in discussions that will revolve around questions posed by the book’s authors. To encourage careful reading and informed discussion based on the reading, 30 points will be allocated as follows.

 27 – 30 points = regular, informed participation

                           regular attendance (3 or fewer absences)

 24 – 26 points = occasional and thoughtful participation

                           attendance (4 or fewer absences)

 21 – 23 points = attendance (5-6 absences)

 17 – 20 points = infrequent attendance (7-8 absences)

 15 – 16 points = rare attendance (9 absences)

5            points = 10 or more absences

To make all have a chance to contribute I will occasionally call on students. I also appeal to the grace of individuals who are more talkative to raise their hands to be recognized before speaking so that all students may be given the opportunity to contribute. I will also give occasional short assignments (e.g., briefing a case). Thoughtful written responses will count toward class participation.

 

Manners.-- You are asked to arrive on time at 3:30. If lateness becomes a problem during the semester, I will close the door and post a note requesting no one to enter. If you have an appointment that requires you to leave early, let me know ahead of time and then sit in a chair near the door. Turn off cell phones before class begins.

 

CAAR.-- NIU can make reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Students with disabilities for which they may need accommodations should contact the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building during the first two weeks of the semester.

 

Paper awards.-- The Department of Political Science annually recognizes outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses (all majors are welcome to compete). Winners are expected to attend the Department’s spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Submit three papers from any undergraduate political science class to a department secretary in Zulauf 315 by February 28. All copies should have two cover pages – one with the student’s name and one without. Only papers written in the previous calendar year (2004) can be considered for the 2005 award. However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the 2005 competition even if the author has graduated.

 

Website. -- You are encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science website (http://polisci.niu.edu) to help you contact faculty and staff, explore graduate programs and career options, and track department events and activities.