The Limits of Law in Regulating Health Care Decisions, 7 HASTINGS CENTER REPORT 29 (1977)
The case for legal regulation of biomedical technology used to be easy to argue. A decade ago, it was clear that this technology had a dramatic impact on issues of far-reaching public significance, that many of these issues were not being systematically addressed by anyone, and that others were being considered only by physicians and biological scientists from a very narrow perspective. The argument for systematic law-making in the resolution of these issues was easy and, during the past few years, that argument seems in large part to have prevailed. Congres- sional establishment of the National Commission for Pro- tection of Human Subjects of Behavioral and Biomedical Research, with its wide-ranging statutory jurisdiction, is one indication of this trend. The California "Natural Death Act" is another. A third indication is the current willingness of judges to enter into previously sacrosanct medical territory, to proclaim principles of "informed con- sent" for doctor/patient relations or "rights to treatment" for institutionalized mentally ill or retarded persons.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Burt, Robert A., "The Limits of Law in Regulating Health Care Decisions" (1977). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 795.