Faculty in the News

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Biomedical ethics, genetics and the law, law and medicine, health law, medico-legal history, eugenics, AIDS, reproductive rights

Paul A. Lombardo

Director, Program in Law and Medicine,
Center for Biomedical Ethics;
Associate Professor, School of Medicine

J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1985
Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1982
M.A., Loyola University of Chicago, 1974
A.B., Rockhurst College, 1971

Paul A. Lombardo is an Associate Professor of the School of Medicine and Director of the Program in Law and Medicine at the Center for Biomedical Ethics at the University of Virginia. His faculty responsibilities in the Schools of Medicine and Law include courses in Health Law, Genetics and the Law, Legal and Ethical Regulation of Research, and the History of Bioethics.

Lombardo has served on a number of national panels, providing expertise on the proper conduct of research that enrolls human beings as subjects. Those panels have included the Institute of Medicine Committee to Study the Need for Clinical Trials of Testosterone Replacement Therapy, the Clinical Trial Special Emphasis Panel of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, study sections of the National Institute for Drug Abuse and the Central Beryllium IRB of the Department of Energy, charged with reviewing all research on current or former workers related to potential Beryllium exposure. His past legal work included being primary draftsman for Virginia’s Patient Record Privacy Act of 1997.

As a historian he has served as a member of Special Emphasis Panels for the National Library of Medicine, and the Editorial Advisory Panel and Historian’s Working Group of the Digital Image Archive of the American Eugenics Movement of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. Lombardo has been a historical consultant for several films, including most recently, Race: the Power of an Illusion Part I, “The Difference Between Us” (PBS, April 2003).

In 2002, Lombardo sponsored a Virginia Historic Marker in Charlottesville, Virginia to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Buck v. Bell. The ceremony also featured an apology by Governor Mark Warner, making Virginia the first of more than 30 states that had eugenic sterilization laws to denounce the legislation that sanctioned the involuntary sterilization of more than 60,000 nationally. The national movement to recognize the history of eugenics also generated apologies in 2002 from Oregon, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Lombardo was invited to make a presentation on the history of eugenics to a California State Senate Committee in 2003; his comments led to an apology by then California Governor Gray Davis.

His recent publications have dealt with a variety of issues in health law, history, and bioethics, particularly the history of eugenics and the legal and ethical issues surrounding ongoing research in genetics. He is completing a book with the working title: Better for All the World: Eugenics, the Supreme Court and Buck v. Bell.

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  • Genetics and the Law
  • Great Cases in Bioethics

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