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Back Issues and Articles
Back Issues and Articles

Table of Contents
Table of Contents
ASLME - [PDF] (Free Download)
Table of Contents
Letter From the Editor
Letter From The Editor
ASLME - [PDF]

Genome Justice: Genetics and Group Rights
Symposium Articles
Genome Justice: Genetics and Group Rights
Rebecca Tsosie, Joan L. McGregor - [PDF]

Genome Justice: Genetics and Group Rights
Population Genomics and Research Ethics with Socially Identifiable Groups
Joan L. McGregor - [PDF]

In this paper, the author questions whether the research ethics guidelines and procedures are robust enough to protect groups when conducting genetics research with socially identifiable populations, particularly with Native American groups. The author argues for a change in the federal guidelines in substance and procedures of con-ducting genetic research with socially identifiable groups.
Genes and Spleens: Property, Contract, or Privacy Rights in the Human Body?
Radhika Rao - [PDF]

This article compares three frameworks for legal regula-tion of the human body. Property law systematically favors those who use the body to create commercial products. Yet contract and privacy rights cannot compete with the property paradigm, which alone affords a complete bundle of rights enforceable against the whole world. In the face of researchers' property rights, the theoretical freedom to contract and the meager interest in privacy leave those who supply body parts vulnerable to exploitation.
Human Genetics Studies: The Case for Group Rights
Laura S. Underkuffler - [PDF]

In this essay, the author focuses on an underlying theoret-ical issue which she believes seriously affects our collective response to the idea of group rights in the genetic-control context. That issue is to what extent are our responses to claims of group rights hampered by our bringing to the table (consciously or unconsciously) a model which is structured to acknowledge only individual concerns? Put another way, to what extent are our objections to group rights in this context a product of our inability (or refusal) to imagine the idea of group rights, rather than the prod-uct of truly substantive concerns?
Cultural Challenges to Biotechnology: Native American Genetic Resources and the Concept of Cultural Harm
Rebecca Tsosie - [PDF]

This article examines the intercultural context of issues related to genetic research on Native peoples. In particu-lar, the article probes the disconnect between Western and indigenous concepts of property, ownership, and privacy, and examines the harms to Native peoples that may arise from unauthorized uses of blood and tissue samples or the information derived from such samples. The article concludes that existing legal and ethical frameworks are inadequate to address Native peoples' rights to their genetic resources and suggests an intercultural framework for accommodation based on theories of intergroup equal-ity and fundamental human rights.
Narratives of Race and Indigeneity in the Genographic Project
Kim TallBear - [PDF]

In its quest to sample 100,000 "indigenous and traditional peoples," the Genographic Project deploys five problemat-ic narratives: (1) that "we are all African"; (2) that "genetic science can end racism"; (3) that "indigenous peoples are vanishing"; (4) that "we are all related"; and (5) that Genographic "collaborates" with indigenous peoples. In so doing, Genographic perpetuates much critiqued, yet long-standing notions of race and colonial scientific practice.
The Human Genome as Common Heritage: Common Sense or Legal Nonsense?
Pilar N. Ossorio - [PDF]

This essay identifies two legal lineages underlying the common heritage concept, and applies each to the human genome. The essay notes some advantages and disad-vantages of each approach, and argues that patenting of human genes would be allowable under either approach.
Off the Grid: Vaccinations Among Homeschooled Children
Donya Khalili, Arthur Caplan - [PDF]

To protect public health, states require that parents have their children immunized before they are permitted to attend public or private school. But for homeschooled children, the rules vary. With the spectacular growth in the number of homeschooled students, it is becoming more difficult to reach these youth to ensure that they are immunized at all. These children are frequently unvaccinated, leaving them open to infection with diseases that are all but stamped out in the United States with immu-nization requirements. States should encourage parents to get their homeschooled students vaccinated through enacting the same laws as those used for public school students. This could be done by enforcing current laws through neglect petitions or by requiring that children be immunized before participating in school sponsored pro-grams. As most states require some filing to allow parents to homeschool their children, it would be easy to enact laws requiring that homeschooled children be immunized or exempted before completing registration.
Independent Articles
Partnership in U.K. Biobank: A Third Way For Genomic Property?
David E. Winickoff - [PDF]

A property analysis of the U.K. Biobank reveals a new imagination of the genomic biobank as a national common-pool resource. U.K. Biobank's treatment of property and governance exhibit both strengths and weaknesses that may be instructive to genome project planners around the world.
Individuality and Human Beginnings: A Reply to David DeGrazia
Alfonso Gmez-Lobo - [PDF]

The author argues that individuality does not require indivisibility and that twinning can be explained as the reprogramming of blastomeres that already have begun to differentiate in accordance with the needs of the unified organism that originates at conception.
Discontinuity and Disaster: Gaps and the Negotiation of Culpability in Medication Delivery
Sidney Dekker - [PDF]

This paper shows how discontinuities in the process of drug delivery enable but also underdetermine the isolation of a culprit in adverse medication events. A case example illustrates how we are forced to abandon conceptualiza-tions of blame that assume a dichotomy (either culpable or not), and shift instead to a more nuanced version that estimates the degree to which an actor desired, gener-ated, or could have foreseen the harmful outcome, and the extent to which constraints external to the actor altered the event. The paper concludes that meaningful safety interventions in a system as diverse, socially embedded and complex as health care delivery cannot just build on "good science" (e.g., good methods) to generate "root"causes. Rather, they need to somehow be sensitive to how and which narratives of success and failure are created, as these constrain which countermeasures are likely to be encouraged, funded, and accepted.
Informed Consent: Physician Inexperience is a Material Risk for Patients
Richard J. Veerapen - [PDF]

This paper examines the case for an expanded interpreta-tion of the concept of "material risk" such that it neces-sitates voluntary disclosure of physician inexperience with a specific medical procedure. Informed consent law in the United States, Canada, and most commonwealth jurisdic-tions has become a driver of standards of risk disclosure by physicians during the informed consent process. The legal standard of risk disclosure expected of a physician hinges on the interpretation of the entity called "material risk." Any impairment of the physician related to drug usage, disease, or alcohol which compounds the risk of a procedure is very likely to be considered material by a patient. This paper argues that physician inexperience is a factor that a reasonable patient would attach significance to and that it should therefore be viewed as a "material risk" requiring disclosure.
Columns
Teaching Health Law
Charity Scott - [PDF]

Teaching Health Law
Recent Developments in Health Law
Renee Gerber, Lindsey Murtagh, Clinton J. Wolbert, Nicole M. Tinkey, and Beth Gobeille - [PDF]

Recent Developments in Health Law