Petrie-Flom Center Webcast Archive
October 14, 2008
Partnering with the Harvard Law School chapters of the American Constitution Society the Federalist Society, and the Harvard Law School Dean’s Office, the Petrie-Flom center is coordinating a moot court session on the upcoming Supreme Court case, Wyeth v. Levine.
As healthcare promises to be a key issue in the current presidential election debates, the Center brings together key health policy advisors to the McCain and Obama campaigns to discuss the respective candidate’s proposals for reform.
September 24, 2008
With the advance of medical technologies and the increasing power over life and death that they afford, discussions of “human dignity” have begun to take a more central role in bioethics. How should we view this dignity discourse? Is “human dignity” a useful concept that leads to determinate answers on issues like stem cell research and care for the dying? Or, is it instead a concept prone to misuse, an empty vessel or a camouflage for unconvincing arguments and unarticulated biases? We’ll examine these questions in this debate, which will bring together speakers from four universities whose expertise spans the disciplines of philosophy, law, and theology and medicine. Among the participants will be the Chairman and a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics, the federal body charged with advising the U.S. President on bioethics issues, whose recent volume of essays on these issues has generated widespread public discussion..
It has been possible since the 1980s to transfer genes taken from one species to into another. In one famous experiment, French scientists created Alba, a rabbit with a jellyfish gene inserted to give her a fluorescent glow. Transgenesis when applied to humans has the potential to radically enhance human beings, to produce resistance to diseases, to enhance our physical capabilities or even to slow the ageing process. Opponents to transgenesis argue that this will lead us inevitably down a slippery slope that risks altering human nature irrevocably. In this lecture, Savulescu will argue that this need not be the case and in fact, the use of such technologies, by allowing us to enter a new stage of evolution, ‘evolution under reason’, can actually strengthen our humanity.
April 9, 2008
Would the state governments or the federal government do a better job of implementing health reforms and administering resultant health systems?
Does ERISA provide a barrier to state reforms?
Do constitutional principles provide a barrier to federal reforms?
April 3, 2008
Venture capital funds invested $9.1 billion in the biotechnology sector last year, putting them at the center of the financial infrastructure that drives medical innovation today. Attorneys play an essential role throughout this process. Coming to HLS are four experienced attorneys, two law-firm partners and two VC-fund partners, to discuss how attorneys facilitate and shape the financing of the life sciences industry.
Debates around the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and other international initiatives have brought renewed attention to both the urgency and challenges of setting a limited number of global health priorities. The role that international human rights law does or might play in guiding priority-setting remains open to debate. This panel will explore both normative and empirical dimensions of this question from a variety of different perspectives.
March 10, 2008
Lecture: Daniel Meron, Former General Counsel, United States Department of Health and Human Services
November 28, 2007
The explosion of interest in stem cell research raises a raft of controversial policy questions: When should human embryos be used to create stem cells? Should cloning be outlawed? Should egg and tissue donors be paid? Should we allow scientists to patent stem cells? Is the government entitled to a portion of the revenue from stem cell technology created with public funds? How should the regulators and courts balance the competing goals of access to revolutionary treatments and protection of the public from unknown risks? “Stem Cell Century” addresses these and other critical issues of policy, ethics, and law.
September 7, 2007
Webcast of the lecture given on the appointment of Petrie-Flom Center's faculty director, Professor Einer R. Elhauge to the Carroll and Milton Petrie Professorship of Law.
Each year, 10 million people die because they did not have access to existing medicines. The high price of patented medicines is a major contributor to this problem, especially the developing world. Universities, dedicated to the public good, research and patent many of the most needed medicines but license their patent rights in exchange for royalties to pharmaceutical companies that develop drugs and block access to low-cost generic alternatives in the developing world. medicine. This panel discussion brought together noted scientists, university administrators, legal practitioners and and public health officials to debate the challenges and possible alternatives to university technology transfer practices.
Recently, patents on some of the first generation of large-molecule drugs, or biologics, have expired. Consequently, complex and interrelated legal, scientific & policy issues about how to regulate manufacturing, replicate efficacy and assure safety of generic (follow-on) forms of these life-saving treatments have come under debate. This issue will soon be dramatically compounded with the impending expiration of close to 100 more patents in this class of medications. Policy proposals for developing laws to facilitate and/or regulate the development of a market for follow-on biologics will be debated soon in Congress.
Biotechnology today raises hopes for medical breakthroughs and human enhancements and fears about a brave new world of designer children and genetic manipulation. Should our new biotechnological powers be used only to cure disease, or also to enhance our muscles, minds, memories, and moods? Does our growing ability to choose the sex and other traits of our children enlarge human freedom or raise the specter of a new eugenics? In its first major conference, Harvard's Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics, in collaboration with the Harvard University Program on Ethics and Health, and the Ethics and Public Policy Program of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, with financial sponsorship from the Cammann Fund, gatheedr leading figures in law, bioethics, science, and philosophy to explore the legal and ethical implications of the new biotechnology.
April 5, 2006
Recent news about avian flu and the potential for disease to be spread through bioterrorism has raised concerns about how the world would respond to the next pandemic. What are the legal, ethical and governance issues surrounding vaccination, quarantine and other policies that governments might plan and implement in response?
March 14, 2006
Many of the nine million deaths that occur each year in developing countries from communicable diseases could be prevented if the legal system were adjusted first to increase incentives for the development of vaccines and drugs directed to those diseases and then to distribute those vaccines and drugs at affordable prices.
Featuring Sofia Gruskin, one of the premier experts on the human rights, gender, and HIV/AIDS. As Director of the Program on International Health and Human Rights at the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, and Associate Professor on Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health, the emphasis of Professor Gruskin’s work is on the policy and practice implications of linking health to human rights, with particular attention to women, children, gender issues and vulnerable populations in the context of HIV/AIDS. Dinner will be provided.Co-sponsored with the Harvard Law and Health Care Society, the Human Rights Program, and the Harvard African Law Association at Harvard Law School
The Justices' views on Roe v. Wade are subject to exhaustive scrutiny and speculation. But how would they rule on a parent's right to manipulate the genes of their embryonic offspring? The use of fMRI brain scans during intelligence interrogations? The privacy rights to data developed from genetic screening? The feasibility of such literally life-altering technologies will continue to develop at a rapid pace. When technologies of life become contentious and draw attempts at regulation, what lines might be drawn by the recently recomposed Roberts Court?
"Biotechnology today raises hopes for medical breakthroughs and human enhancements, but also fears about a brave new world of designer children and genetic manipulation. Should our new biotechnological powers be used only to cure disease, or also to enhance our muscles, minds, memories, and moods?"
Professor Michael Sandel
PFC Affiliated Faculty
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