Yearly Archives: 2011

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
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 []. 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.

Consortium Sponsored Conference – Food Deserts: Legal, Social and Public Health Challenges

10/24/2011 from 1:00 PM to 6:30 PM
200 McAllister, UC Hastings College of the Law Alumni Reception Center

The UCSF / UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy is sponsoring a conference entitled “Food Deserts: Legal, Social and Public Health Challenges” on Food Day, October 24, 2011 with keynote speech by Dr. David Kessler, former Commissioner of the FDA. The conference will bring together scholars from the health sciences and the law, as well as policymakers, activists, and food industry members, to discuss two important aspects of “food deserts,” places where access to a nutritionally-adequate diet is severely restricted.

Registration will begin at 1:00 pm.

Nourishing Our Neighborhoods: Insights from Law, Planning, and Industry
1:30-3:00 PM

This panel will cover the broad issue of geographical food deserts, usually urban areas inhabited by mostly-poor people whose transportation and finances are limited, where food sellers are predominantly small stores that cannot stock a wide variety of fresh food items, and where full-service grocery stores hesitate to locate. Are there policies (such as those in zoning rules) that could be changed to enable oases in these food deserts? What impact does, for example, the addition of a full-service grocery store have on the health of the neighboring area?

Marice Ashe, JD, MPH, Founder and Director, Public Health Law & Policy.
Rajiv Bhatia, MD, MPH, Director of Occupational and Environmental Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health.
Amy Cohen, BA, MA, Director of Neighborhood Business Development, San Francisco Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development.
Regina Davis, BA, MA, Executive Director, San Francisco Housing Development Corporation.
Nick Griffin, BA, MA, Senior Project Manager, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation.

Moderator: Hilary Seligman, MD, MAS, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, UCSF, and Center for Vulnerable Populations, San Francisco General Hospital.

Food and Nutrition in Correctional Institutions
3:15-4:45 PM

This panel will consider issues relevant to prisons and jails. While food offerings must meet certain basic caloric and nutritional requirements, the institutional nature of food preparation and food service might make that food less than appealing, and the healthier elements of meals might well be those not regularly or fully consumed. The supplemental food offerings - those for sale in these institutions - are not likely to be nutritious. Some research suggests that improved nutrition in prisons leads to improved penal outcomes. If that is so, what policy changes should be implemented? Would such changes be cost-beneficial, considering penal outcomes and the government's responsibility for health care of prisoners?

Hadar Aviram, LLB, MA, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of the Law.
Robert Griefinger, MD, consultant on prisoner health care.
Laurie Maurino, RD, Departmental Food Administrator, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Beth Waitkus, BA, MS, Director, Insight Garden Program, San Quentin Prison.

Moderator: Brie Williams, MD, MS, clinician-researcher, UCSF.

The End of Overeating, Keynote by Dr. David A. Kessler
5:00-6:00 PM

Dr. David A. Kessler, BA, MD, JD, served as Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration from 1990 to 1997.  He has served as Dean of the Yale School of Medicine and as Dean of the School of Medicine and Vice-Chancellor at UCSF.  He currently is Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UCSF.  He is the author of The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite (2009).

We will be offering CME and CLE credits for attending this event. Please make sure to note if you require either when registering.

The O'Brien Center for Scholarly Publications is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider.

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine (UCSF) and the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy. UCSF is accredited by the ACGME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Presenting faculty has disclosed no conflict of interest for this event.

West Coast Medical-Legal Partnership Summit

West Coast Medical-Legal Partnership Summit

Medical Legal Partnerships: Transforming Medicine and Law to Improve Community Health

Presented by the Medical-Legal Bay Area Regional Coalition (M-BARC) and hosted by the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy

REGISTER NOW! Click here to register!!

When:                    Friday, September 16, 2011
8:30am to 5:00pm
Reception 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Where:                  UC Hastings College of Law
198 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
(Map and Directions)

About the Summit
A Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) is a healthcare delivery model that integrates legal assistance into the medical setting to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable individuals, children, families and communities. The model addresses social determinants of health and seeks to reduce and eliminate barriers to improve the health status of individuals and their communities. This Summit brings together the interdisciplinary teams who staff current or upcoming MLPs in the West Coast, in order to share best practices in direct service delivery and policy advocacy.

Who Should Attend?
Staff of current and future MLPs, as well as doctors, lawyers,  medical residents, medical students, law students, social workers, nurses, nursing students, public health professionals, allied health professionals, hospital and clinic administrators, educators, journalists, those interested in public policy and advocacy.

Program Description Available Here

Online Registration 
Registration fees are $50 and include continuing education credits as well as breakfast, lunch, and a wine and cheese reception. CLICK HERE to register online now.

Fee Waivers: We are able to offer a limited number of fee waivers to qualifying individuals or organizations. To request a fee waiver, please contact Sarah Hooper at  Please do NOT register for the conference before making this request. If we are able to waive your fee, we will assist you with registration.

UC Hastings Students and Faculty: The Consortium can cover registration fees for a limited number of faculty, students, and staff.  If you are interested in attending, please contact Andrea Frey at

Continuing Education Credit
MCLE: The O'Brien Center for Scholarly Publications is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. This activity is approved for a maximum of  seven (7) MCLE credit.

CME: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine (UCSF) and the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy. UCSF is accredited by the ACGME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Presenting faculty has disclosed no conflict of interest for this event.

Final Program Available Here