New Frontiers in Neuroethics and Law (SC)

Section 1, Spring 22

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 4/8
Credits: 1
Day Date Time Room
  • M
  • T
  • W
  • M
  • T
  • W
  • R
  • 04/04/2022
  • 04/05/2022
  • 04/06/2022
  • 04/11/2022
  • 04/12/2022
  • 04/13/2022
  • 04/14/2022
  • 1800-1945
  • 1800-1945
  • 1800-1945
  • 1800-1945
  • 1800-1945
  • 1800-1945
  • 1800-1945
  • WB129
  • WB129
  • WB129
  • WB129
  • WB129
  • WB129
  • WB129

Course Description

This intensive interdisciplinary seminar brings medical students and law students together for two-weeks each spring to explore topical issues at the frontier of clinical care, law, and ethics through multidisciplinary readings and in-depth discussions. By working together within and across disciplinary boundaries, students will learn how other professionals think and will jointly assess challenges facing tomorrow's healthcare system, exploring various resources available to address these challenges and proposing solutions. The 2022 session addresses ethical and legal challenges created by the array of stakeholders who affect, and are affected by, our complex healthcare system and our nation's changing healthcare environment. For example, as the population ages and dementia becomes more prevalent, how much weight should be given to choices and preferences expressed by individuals before they lose their memory regarding their health care that may arise after they lose their memory? Defining death has always been controversial. In several recent cases, families sought to invalidate declarations of death on the ground that the patient’s brain was still functioning? How should the law “define” death? Should we give individuals more say over when they should be considered “dead?” To what extent should legislatures decide the proper scope of medical practice, displacing the judgment of the profession or of individual practitioners, as has been debated in the context of gun safety counseling and physician-assisted suicide, among other activities? What about issues arising in the treatment of adolescents whose gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth? In the push for evidence-based decision-making, clinical trials using “sham surgery” arms are becoming more common. Do the benefits of having this information derived from such experiments outweigh the risks of the “sham surgery” to the individuals participating in the experiments? The burst of research aimed at understanding and treating memory disorders also increase possibilities for cognitive enhancement – should physicians prescribe medications that enhance cognition to individuals who do not have a cognitive disorder, but just want that edge? And, finally, who gets to decide how we move forward in these areas? Should the law be silent on these issues and allow professional norms to guide practice in these areas? And, what do the answers say about the future of medicine as a profession?

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Final Type (if any): None
Description: None

Written Work Product
Written Work Product: To be announced.

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Resources: To be announced.
Course Notes:

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*If “Yes,” then students are required to submit a substantial research paper in this course, which means students do not need to submit any form to SRO for this paper to meet their upper-level writing requirement. If “No,” then students must submit a “special request” e-form to SRO (available via LawWeb) no later than five weeks after the start of the term for a paper in this class to be counted toward the upper-level writing requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Wednesday, April 06, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Saturday, April 16, 11:59 PM