Law and Ethics of Biotechnology

Section 1, Fall 22

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 15/16
Credits: 3
Days* Time Room Start Date End Date
  • M
  • 1540-1740
  • WB127
09/05/2022 12/05/2022
*“R” means Thursday

Course Description

This class is designed to provide a survey of the legal and ethical issues involved in biotechnology. In a format that is accessible to students with no scientific background (but interesting for those who do), we will review the historical roots of biotechnology and its applications for human health and the environment and its regulation –or lack of regulation (both in the United States and internationally). This will include a review of how intellectual property rules affect the development of new products. We’ll start with existing technologies, examining issues ranging from food and drug regulation (including the newly topical issues of vaccine development and global health), clinical trials, genetic engineering, assisted reproductive technology, telemedicine, and stem cell development/regulation to the commercialization of the human body. During the latter part of the course we will focus on emerging technologies (e.g. brain initiatives, gene drives, the microbiome and applications of artificial intelligence) and the work of NIH’s NExTRAC regarding those technologies (Professor Riley is a member).

Course Requirements

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

Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Students will be required to submit occasional responses to discussion prompts throughout the course, as well as a substantial research paper due via EXPO by noon on December 22nd.

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Resources: An instructor-prepared coursepak will be provided.
Course Notes:

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: Yes
**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:
Concentrations: Health Law
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Tuesday, November 29, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Friday, December 09, 11:59 PM