Monthly Archives: November 2011

Consortium Director David Faigman Interviews US Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer for Legally Speaking

About the event: UC Hastings College of the Law is honored to host U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer. Justice Breyer will be interviewed by UC Hastings Distinguished Professor and Consortium Director David Faigman, an expert on constitutional theory before a live audience as part of Legally Speaking, a series of probing interviews with prominent lawyers, judges, and academics, co-produced by UC Hastings and California Lawyer.

Justice Breyer is the third U.S. Supreme Court Justice to spend time with us at UC Hastings in the last 13 months.  Justice Breyer's most recent book Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge's View will be the topic of discussion.

Video of the event is available here.

The Science of Viability

Is it time to Rethink Fetal "Viability"as the Criteria for Limiting the Right to Abortion?

Event Description:
In 1973, the Roe v Wade decision recognized a limited right to abortion whereby states could restrict abortion after the point at which the fetus was potentially "viable." Despite Supreme Court language that prohibits such actions, numerous states have enacted laws that establish a criteria for that point in pregnancy: a particular gestational limit, the beginning of the third trimester, physical health consequences, or second physician involvement. More recently states have adopted "viability testing" requirements or onerous reporting requirements as ways to further restrict later abortion care. Additionally, five states now severely limit abortion after 20 weeks of gestations based on the scientifically unsupported idea that the fetus can feel pain at that point in pregnancy. This presentation reviews the myriad of state laws related to later abortion and their scientific justifications. Finally it explores the idea that an upper limit on the right to abortion is inherently problematic no matter what the scientific justification.

About the Speaker:
Tracy Weitz, PhD, MPA is Director of the Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) program of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She holds a joint appointment as an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences in the UCSF School of Medicine and Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Science in UCSF School of Nursing. A qualitative sociologist with a background in health care administration, her research focuses on innovative strategies to expand abortion provision in the U.S.

Cognitive Changes in the Elderly: Implications for Legal and Health Decisions

Tuesday November 8, 2011
4:00pm-5:00pm
San Francisco VA Medical Center
Teak Conference Room (1st floor building 200, room 1a122)
4150 Clement Street
San Francisco, CA 94121
415-221-4810 | 877-487-2838 | Directions


About the Presentation: Eric Widera, MD, and Rebecca Sudore, MD, will discuss medical and financial planning and decision making as it relates to the cognitively impaired older adult. Please note that this Consortium event will be held at the San Francisco Veteran’s Administration, not at UC Hastings College of Law.

About the Speakers:

Eric Widera is a clinician-educator in the Division of Geriatrics. His main goal is to improve the care provided to elderly patients with severe chronic and/or terminal conditions through program development and educational innovations.  Eric accomplishes this through various leadership roles, including Director of the Hospice & Palliative Care Service at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, Program Director for the Geriatrics Fellowship at UCSF, and VA Site Director for the UCSF Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship.

Eric received his medical school training at UCSF and his internal medicine training at Mount Sinai Hospital. He returned to UCSF to complete a fellowship in Geriatric Medicine. He joined the faculty at UCSF in August of 2006. Since then, Eric has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards including a Geriatric Academic Career Award (GACA) and the Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award.  He has also been selected by the Hartford Foundation as a Center of Excellence Faculty Scholar.

Dr. Rebecca Sudore is an Assistant Professor In-Residence in the Division of Geriatrics, a Clinical Research Investigator, and a Hospice and Palliative Care attending.

Rebecca completed her medical school training, her residency in Internal Medicine, and fellowships in both Geriatrics and research at UCSF. She is dedicated to working with vulnerable older adults in both her clinical practice and through her research endeavors. Rebecca’s expertise in tailoring health education to patients with limited literacy derives from her work with vulnerable populations at homeless clinics, San Francisco General Hospital, the VA, and the adult literacy program through the San Francisco Library. These experiences continue to inspire Rebecca to improve medical decision making for older adults by making medical information easy to understand. Her research has done many things in this regard. She published work demonstrating the effect of limited health literacy on impaired decision making for informed consent and advance care planning. She then designed and tested an informed consent process for patients with limited health literacy. She also designed and tested an easy-to-read, culturally appropriate advance directive used by the San Francisco Public Health Department and throughout California [www.iha4health.org]. Rebecca’s continued clinical work in Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine has inspired her current research focused on designing and testing educational materials to engage patients and their families in advance care planning and to prepare them for medical decision making. Rebecca is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including a VA Career Development Award, an RWJ-VA Physician Faculty Scholars Award, a National Palliative Care Research Center Grant, and a Bechtel Jr. Foundation Grant.