Does the field of bioethics provide Answers or expertise?

An Exploration of Secular and Religious Bioethics Methodologies.

On March 14, 2005, the conference analyzed how secular and religious methodologies answered the previously mentioned bioethical dilemmas. The impetus for the Conference sprang
from three common criticisms of the field of bioethics: 1) "basic principles of bioethics are vague and indeterminate, and provide
no real answers to bioethics dilemmas; 2) there is no real expertise in the field but merely the subjective answers of individual bioethicists; 3) that the mainstream bioethics field has
some of the "wrong" answers to basic bioethical dilemmas..."


  • Alternative Reproduction Technologies
  • Children as Research Subjects - Grimes v. Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • Death and Dying


Janet Dolgin

Symposium Article: Method, Mediations, and the Moral Dimensions of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

Research Focus
Insights from anthropology and legal scholarship.

B.A. in Philosophy from Barnard College, a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Princeton University, and a J.D. from the Yale Law School.

Before her position of the Hofstra University School of Law faculty, Professor Dolgin taught anthropology at Columbia University and served as an associate at Davis, Polk & Wardwell in Manhattan. In 1988-89 she taught at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem as a Fulbright Scholar. She has also held appointments as a visiting professor of law at Cornell Law School, Boston University School of Law, and Cardozo School of Law.

Publications and Presentations
Professor Dolgin's other books include Jewish Identity and the JDL (Princeton University Press), Symbolic Anthropology (co-edited, Columbia University Press), and Defining the Family (NYU Press). Defining the Family examines the complicated, often contradictory, responses of the law to the radical changes that have altered the scope and meaning of the American family since the start of the Industrial Revolution. Prof. Dolgin lectures widely in the U.S. and abroad about health care law, bioethics, and family law.

Leonard Jack Nelson

Symposium Article: Catholic Bioethics and the Case of Terry Schiavo

Research Focus
Health-care law, including legal issues in treating terminally ill patients.

He received a B.A. from the University of Washington, a J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law and LL.M. from Yale Law School.

Professor of Torts and Health Law at Cumberland School of Law.

Larry I. Palmer

Cum laude graduate of Harvard University and received his LL.B. from Yale Law School.

The Endowed Chair in Urban Health Policy at the University of Louisville, with appointments in the Department of Health Management and System Sciences in the School of Public Health and Information Sciences and the Department of Community and Geriatric Medicine in the School of Medicine.

Currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Hastings Center in Garrison, New York, as well as the America Bar Association’s Special Committee on Bioethics and the Law and the Council of its Health Law Section, the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, and the Center for Genetic & Molecular Medicine. He was formerly a director of the National Patient Safety Foundation from 1997-2002 and served as a trustee of the Phillips Exeter Academy from 1990-2000.

Prior to accepting the position at University of Louisville, he served as a professor of law at Cornell University Law School. From 1979-1984, Professor Palmer served as a vice provost at Cornell and was a vice president at Cornell from 1987-1994. In addition to his positions at Cornell and the University of Louisville, he has held appointments at the University of Texas School of Law at Austin, the University of Virginia School of Law, Rutgers University Law School-Camden, Villanova School of Law, Emory Law School, The Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen-Nürnberg, and Clare Hall, Cambridge University.

Publications & Presentations
Author of Law, Medicine, and Social Justice (1989), Endings and Beginnings: Law, Medicine and Law in Assisted Life and Death (2000), and articles dealing with law, medicine, and health policy. Palmer is also the executive producer and author of the study guide of the prize winning educational video, Susceptible to Kindness: Miss Evers’ Boys and the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.

Lois Shepherd

Symposium Article: Shattering the Neutral Surrogate Myth in End of Life Decisionmaking: Terry Schiavo and Her Family

Research Focus
Much of her work focuses on issues of rights in the context of health care and the role that societal concern for suffering has played in determining legal and ethical rights and responsibilities.

B.A. degree, with highest honors, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1984, and her J.D. from the Yale Law School in 1987, where she was a senior editor of the Yale Law Journal.

D’Alemberte Professor of Law at the Florida State University College of Law teaching Health law and policy, with an emphasis on bioethics.

Publications & Presentation
Her scholarship includes a number of scholarly articles and essays on ethical and legal issues relating to end-of-life decision-making, prenatal genetic testing, abortion, disability, and physician-assisted suicide. Prof. Shepherd has recently co-authored a bioethics casebook, Bioethics and the Law (Aspen, 2005) with Janet Dolgin of Hofstra University School of Law.

David Smolin

Symposium Article: Does Bioethics Provide Answers? Secular and Religious Bioethics and Our Procreative Futures

Research Focus
Written on a variety of bioethical, constitutional and international children’s issues.

B.A. from New College of the University of South Florida and his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati School of Law.

Professor of family law and constitutional law at Cumberland School of Law, and director for the Center for Biotechnology, Law and Ethics.
He has testified before legislative committees in the U.S. Congress and five states on constitutional issues.

Page last updated: Thu, 10/08/2009 - 16:07