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Member Spotlight: Valerie Gutmann Koch, JD

In January 2014, the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law released its Report and Recommendations for Research with Human Subjects Who Lack Consent Capacity.  ASLME Member Valerie Gutmann Koch currently serves as Special Advisor to the Task Force and was actively involved in crafting these guidelines. Featured in the current issue of JLME, Koch’s article “A Policy in Flux: New York State’s Evolving Approach to Human Subjects Research Involving Individuals Who Lack Consent Capacity” puts the Task Force’s report in historical context.

Koch, a Visiting Assistant Professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law and a Lecturer in Law, Medicine, and Ethics at the University of Chicago MacLean Center of Clinical Medical Ethics, is the former senior attorney to the Task Force.

Currently, she is working with the Task Force on guidelines for the allocation of scarce ventilators in the event of a pandemic influenza outbreak. In August, Professor Koch wrote a post about this while guest blogging for the Health Law Professors Blog. Covering a range of issues, her blog posts also included “FDA Announces Plans to Regulate LDTs (But What About DTC Genetic Tests?)”, and “How an Obligation to Return Research Results Is (and Should be) Changing the Investigator-Participant Relationship”.

While Professor Koch has been a member of ASLME for several years, her relationship with the Society goes back to when she was a student at Harvard Law School. While earning her J.D. at Harvard Law School, she was co-editor-in-chief for the recent developments section of JLME.

Professor Koch graduated magna cum laude with an A.B. from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs and Public Policy, with a focus in bioethics. She is an appointed member of the American Bar Association Special Committee on Bioethics and the Law, and she currently serves as co-chair of the law affinity group for the American Society for Bioethics and the Humanities.


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