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The New York State Department of Health’s Division of Legal Affairs is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Director of the Bureau of the Task Force on Life and the Law.

The Task Force was established by Executive Order N0. 56 (Governor Mario M. Cuomo, 1984) and continued by Executive Order No. 2 (Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, 2011). The position is available immediately and is located in Albany, NY (preferred) or New York City (depending on circumstances). Salary will be determined at a later date.

The purpose of the Task Force on Life and the Law is to study the legal and ethical implications of complex health issues. The Director will work with the more than 20 accomplished scholars in assorted disciplines who are members of the Task Force to identify, contact, and interact with leading authorities and stakeholders in relevant fields, and to analyze and summarize in a persuasive manner relevant legal and scientific literature.

The ideal candidate for this position has a strong interest in law, medicine, bioethics, philosophy, and health policy, and the ability to shepherd the studies undertaken by the Task Force to completion in the form of a polished, thorough, professional product that reflects the consensus opinion of the Task Force Chair and members.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS
• Juris Doctorate (preferred) or postgraduate degree in the field of medicine, bioethics, philosophy, or health policy,
• Demonstrated experience: developing symposia, written reports, and electronic presentations, including achieving consensus among diverse experts and stakeholders
• Excellent interpersonal skills
• Helpful, creative, and assistive in the workplace, can give and take directions, receptive to constructive feedback, and able to work effectively both in a team and independently
• Proficient with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

RESPONSIBILITIES
Candidates should be able to describe how the candidate would use the above referenced preferred qualifications to meet the following responsibilities under the supervision of the Task Force Chair and the Department’s General Counsel:
• present leading authorities and stakeholders in the relevant field, and relevant legal and scientific literature, to the members of the Task Force
• facilitate efficient, well organized, and productive Task Force meetings, conference calls, and deliberations
• develop symposia, written reports, and electronic presentations
• oversee day-to-day activities of the Task Force and supervise staff in their day-to-day activities

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
Full-time.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE
Submit resume, preferably in PDF format, to Division of Legal Affairs, Corning Tower Building, Room 2438, Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12237 by email to heather.bowden@health.ny.gov or by fax to (518) 473-2802. Resumes will be accepted until the position is filled.

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I finally listened to the appellate oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Fonseca v. Smith. The appeal concerns the standing of the plaintiffs, not the merits of UDDA constitutionality. The court has not yet ruled. Bu...

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In a recent editorial, the clinical lead for organ donation in the UK and an Australian law professor opine: "Although the medical criteria and their implications have remained relatively consistent over time, the societal decision to accept the medical community’s proposal that brain death is death has never gone without legal challenge. Yet, from the above cases, it is in the USA that uncertainly seems the greatest."

Notably, the American Academy of Neurology recently "endorsed the belief that preserved neuroendocrine function may be present despite irreversible injury of the cerebral hemispheres and brainstem and is not inconsistent with the whole brain standard of death."

But since the law in every U.S. state requires irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, it seems outside the scope of medical discretion to disregard functions of the hypothalamus and pituitary which are parts of the brain.


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by Kayhan Parsi, JD, PhD and Nanette Elster, JD, MPH

To say that we live in a classist society is to say that water is wet. Yet, we need occasional reminders of this reality.  For instance, the recent college admissions scandal brought to light the excesses of class and privilege.  Allegedly, parents spent millions of dollars to bribe coaches and administrators, faked involvement in sports and other activities, and even got extra time for students alleging disabilitiesIn an age where nearly everything generates shock and moral outrage, this triggered a tsunami of criticism.  How could people who are already wealthy and privileged perpetrate such a massive scam?…

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The Healthcare Ethics Consortium and the Emory Center for Ethics will host the 25th annual Healthcare Ethics conference on March 21 and 22 at the Emory Conference Center. 

The Healthcare Ethics Consortium is a network housed at the Emory Ethics Center comprising approximately 40 health care organizations including hospitals, schools of medicine, schools of nursing and professional associations. 

This year’s conference theme is “Deeply Rooted: Healthcare Ethics in an Era of Change.” Keynote speaker is Thaddeus Pope, JD, PhD, health law professor and bioethicist, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Minnesota. Participants will include physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, ethicists, health lawyers and administrators from across the U.S.

Conference registration, hotel information, and a complete schedule are available here.

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More than three years after the appeal was filed, the California Court of Appeal has finally scheduled oral argument in CANHR v. Smith - April 23, 2019. This case concerns the legitimacy of how section 1418.8 Interdisciplinary Teams are used in Califo...

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by Leslie Francis, Ph.D., JD

Dr. Anita Silvers, 1940-2019, died on March 14, 2019, aged 78. She is survived by her brother, Dr. David Silvers, his family, and many friends, collaborators, colleagues, students, and others whose lives she touched and inspired.

Anita Silvers shaped the field of philosophy substantively, institutionally, and ethically. She received her B.A. in philosophy from Sarah Lawrence College in 1962 and her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1967; in addition, she studied at London University in 1965. Upon completing her Ph.D., she was advised by her mentors that it would be prudent to apply for positions in philosophy where in-person interviews were not standard, because of her visible disabilities from childhood polio.…

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An Alabama prison warden is seeking certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court in a case in which the warden unilaterally directed a do not resuscitate order and removal of life support from an inmate who was stabbed. Alabama law clearly specifies who is ...

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This week, the Iowa House of Representatives passed H.F. 594. This bill adds a new section to the Iowa Code (144F.1) that provides:

"A court of law or equity shall not have the authority to require the withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures from a minor child over the objection of the minor child’s parent or guardian, unless there is conclusive medical evidence that the minor child has died and any electronic brain, heart, or respiratory monitoring activity exhibited to the contrary is a false artifact. For the purposes of this section, “life-sustaining procedure” means the same as defined in section 144A.2."

Other Simon's Law legislation prohibits unilateral action by clinicians. Iowa goes further by also disallowing action by courts. Here is a particularly passionate defense of the bill.



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By Jon Holmlund Last week’s New England Journal of Medicine (subscription required) included four articles addressing heritable human gene editing (HHGE, if you’ll allow the acronym).  All assumed that it would or should go forward, under oversight, rather than seeking a moratorium.  One took the position that a moratorium is a bad idea, because the …

Continue reading "The (at least, an) other side of the argument about heritable human gene editing"

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