Yearly Archives: 2013

From Bench to Society: Law and Ethics at the Frontier of Genomic Technology

This is an all day event put on by the Hastings Law Journal and the UCSF / UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy.

This symposium anticipates the legal and ethical implications of advances in genomic technologies. For example, whole-genome sequencing is now possible at the prenatal stage. A parent could screen a fetus—not only for birth defects, but also with the intention of creating a “designer baby.” Further, whole-genome sequencing can potentially redefine risk analysis in the health insurance context, where genomic information could indicate the predisposition of any number of future health outcomes.

What happens when an insurance company uses a test to determine exactly what risks you present for any number of conditions and uses that data to adjust your health insurance premiums? In addition, it is now possible to individualize medicine, like cancer treatments, so certain drugs would only work for those with certain genetic indicators. Drug companies, for instance, could develop treatments based on those who exhibited dominant genetic traits (potentially marginalizing minority populations).  

Beyond the health care context, genomic information could also be used to predict predispositions to commit criminal acts and indicate the likelihood of recidivism. Could genomic indicators then be used in probation hearings? These advances in genomics implicate a host of policy and societal issues, and this conference broadly discusses what this means for the law.


8:00 – 9:00  Registration and Breakfast

9:00 – 9:15  Welcome

9:15 – 10:00  The State of the Science: Kelly Ormond, MS CGC Stanford University

10:00 – 10:15  Break

10:15 – 12:00 Panel I: Predictions of Future Health
Moderator:  Jaime King, JD, PhD UC Hastings
Panelists: Wylie Burke, MD, PhD University of Washington
Mark Rothstein, JD, University of Louisville
Mildred Cho, PhD, Stanford University

12:00 – 12:45  Lunch

1:00 – 1:45  Keynote Speech: George Poste, Chief Scientist, Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative (CASI), Regents’ Professor and Del E. Webb Chair in Health Innovation at Arizona State University

1:45 – 2:00  Break

2:00 – 3:30  Panel II: Individualized Medicine
Moderator:  Osagie Obasogie JD, PhD UC Hastings
Panelists:  Robert Nussbaum, MD, UCSF
Hank Greely, JD Stanford University
Barbara Koenig, PhD, UCSF

3:30 – 3:45  Break

3:45 – 4:45  Panel III: Behavioral Genetics
Moderator:  David Faigman, JD, MA UC Hastings
Panelists:  Josh Buckholtz, PhD, Harvard University
Deborah Denno, JD, PhD, Fordham University
Nita Farahany, JD, MA, PhD Duke University
Taylor Smith, PhD Brown University

4:45 – 5:00  Concluding Remarks

5:00 – 6:30  Reception (Dobbs Atrium)


The symposium was recorded and part 1 can be found here (starts at the 36 minute mark).

What Health Care Costs: Bringing Price Transparency to the Medical Marketplace

Providing consumers with meaningful and transparent information about their healthcare choices and ensuring that those choices are not exploitative is a critical component of health care reform under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Price transparency would allow consumers to compare prices before choosing a provider or hospital and, consequently, better anticipate their overall costs. Over the past several months, researchers at UC Hastings and UCSF have examined the current marketplace surrounding healthcare decisions as well as the solutions that propose to improve efficiency and lower cost in California. Please join them as they share their findings and recommendations on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 3:30pm and stay for a reception immediately following the presentation. Refreshments will be provided so please RSVP to by Friday, January 18, 2013 to ensure your place.

Confirmed Panelists:

  • Stephanie Alessi, Consortium Research Assistant, JD Candidate '13
  • Morgan Muir, Consortium Graduate Research Fellow, JD '12
  • Sam Maizel, Attorney, Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP
  • Craig B. Garner, Attorney, Craig Boyd Garner A Professional Law Corporation and Adjunct Professor, Pepperdine University School of Law

Welcome: Jaime King, Associate Director, UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy and Associate Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of the Law

Moderator: David Faigman, Associate Dean, UCSF / UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy and John F. Digardi Distinguished Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of the Law


The event was recorded and part 1 of 2 can be found here