Christopher Robertson

Christopher Robertson

Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives

Professor of Law

BA, Southeast Missouri State University, summa cum laude
PhD & MA, Washington University in St. Louis
JD, Harvard Law School, magna cum laude


Biography

Christopher Robertson joined the BU Law faculty in 2020 as a tenured professor and N. Neal Pike Scholar in Health & Disability Law. Robertson previously served as associate dean for research and innovation and professor of law at the University of Arizona.

Professor Robertson is an expert in health law, institutional design, and decision making. His wide-ranging work includes torts, bioethics, professional responsibility, conflicts of interests, criminal justice, evidence, the First Amendment, racial disparities, and corruption.

In 2019, Harvard University Press published Exposed: Why Our Health Insurance is Incomplete and What Can be Done About It. Robertson has co-edited three books, Nudging Health: Behavioral Economics and Health Law (2016), Blinding as a Solution to Bias: Strengthening Biomedical Science, Forensic Science, and Law (2016), and Innovation and Protection: The Future of Medical Device Regulation (2022).

Acting in legal reform movements, Robertson is working for the board of trustees of the California State Bar reduce racial disparities in the attorney discipline system. He previously served as reporter for the Health Law Monitoring Committee of the Uniform Law Commission. For over a decade, he has served on the clinical ethics committee of an academic medical center.

Working to reform legal education, Robertson is leading the development of JD-Next, a national program designed to reduce disparities in preparation for law school and to provide a more reliable predictor of student success. In its second year, the program enrolled over 1100 students nationwide. With ETS, Robertson also conducted the first major study of the validity of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as an admissions test for JD programs, which led to 90+ schools, including Harvard, Yale, and BU now relying on the exam. Robertson has also pioneered legal education for undergraduates and non-lawyer professionals.

Professor Robertson has served as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, NYU Law, and the London School of Economics, and as a visiting scholar at the Brown University Policy Lab. He is affiliated with the Petrie Flom Center for Health Care Policy, Bioethics and Biotechnology at Harvard and the NYU Langone Health Working Group on Compassionate Use and Pre-Approval Access (CUPA). Robertson’s legal practice has focused on complex litigation involving medical and scientific disputes, and he continues to work with litigators through his firm, Hugo Analytics.

Publications

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  • I. Glen Cohen, Timo Minssen, W. Nicholson Price II, Christopher Robertson & Carmel Shachar, The Future of Medical Device Regulation: Innovation and Protection (2022)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Threat and Emotions: Mobilizing and Attitudinal Outcomes of a Ballistic Missile Scare 69 Social Problems (2022)
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  • Christopher Robertson & Margaret Houtz, When Desperate Patients Go to Court for Unproven Treatments - The Battle for Hospital Independence 386 New England Journal of Medicine (2022)
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  • Christopher Robertson & Holly Fernandez Lynch, Challenges in confirming drug effectiveness after early approval 374 Science (2021)
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  • Christopher Robertson, K. Aleks Schaefer & Daniel Scheitrum, Are Vaccine Lotteries Worth the Money? 209 Economics Letters (2021)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Patient responses to physician disclosures of industry conflicts of interest: A randomized field experiment 166 Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes (2021)
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  • Jacqueline Salwa & Christopher Robertson, The Need for a Strong and Stable Federal Public Health Agency Independent from Politicians, in COVID-19 Policy Playbook: Legal Recommendations for a Safer, More Equitable Future (2021)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Jonathan Darrow & Willard S. Kasoff, Evidence Supporting the Value of Surgical Procedures: Can We Do Better? 87 The American Surgeon (2020)
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  • Kelly McBride Folkers, Alison Bateman-House & Christopher Robertson, Paying for Unapproved Medical Products 11 Wake Forest Journal of Law & Policy (2020)
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  • Christopher Robertson, K Aleks Schaefer, Daniel Scheitrum, Sergio Puig & Keith Joiner, Indemnifying Precaution: Economic Insights for Regulation of a Highly Infectious Disease 7 Journal of Law and the Biosciences (2020)
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  • Tara Sklar & Christopher Robertson, Telehealth for an Aging Population: How Can Law Influence Adoption Among Providers, Payors, and Patients? 46 American Journal of Law & Medicine (2020)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Andy Yuan, Wendan Zhang & Keith Joiner, Distinguishing Moral Hazard from Access for High-Cost Healthcare under Insurance 15 PLOS ONE (2020)
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  • Tara Sklar, Richard Carmona, Kathie Insel & Christopher Robertson, Digital Health Privacy in Active-Aging Settings: Will the Law Let You Age Well? 18 Journal on Active Aging (2019)
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  • Tara Sklar & Christopher Robertson, Affordability Boards: The States’ New Fix for Drug Pricing 381 New England Journal of Medicine (2019)
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  • Christopher Robertson, The Inability to Self-Diagnose Bias 96 Denver Law Review (2019)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Why the Duty to Research Falls on Institutions Rather than Individuals 19 The American Journal of Bioethics (2019)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Exposed: Why Our Health Insurance is Incomplete and What Can Be Done About it (2019)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Will Courts Allow States to Regulate Drug Prices? 379 The New England Journal of Medicine (2018)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Bernard Chao & David Yokum, Crowdsourcing & Data Analytics: The New Settlement Tools 102 Judicature (2018)
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  • Nir Eyal, Paul Romain & Christopher Robertson, Can Rationing Through Inconvenience Be Ethical? 48 Hastings Center Report (2018)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Bernard Chao, Ian Farrell & Catherine Durso, Why Courts Fail to Protect Privacy: Race, Age, Bias, and Technology 106 California Law Review (2018)
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  • Christopher Robertson & Victor Laurion, Ideology Meets Reality: What Works and What Doesn't in Patient Exposure to Health Care Costs 15 Indiana Health Law Review (2018)
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  • Sarah E. Malanga, Jonathan D. Loe, Christopher Robertson & Kenneth S. Ramos, Who's Left Out of Big Data? How Big Data Collection, Analysis, and Use Neglect Populations Most in Need of Medical and Public Health Research and Interventions, in Big Data, Health Law, and Bioethics (I. Glenn Cohen, Holly Fernandez Lynch, Effy Vayena & Urs Gasser,2018)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Practice-Based Research Networks and the Mandate for Real-World Evidence 44 American Journal of Law and Medicine (2018)
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  • Christopher Robertson, The Tip of the Iceberg: A First Amendment Right to Promote Drugs Off-Label 78 Ohio State Law Journal (2017)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Time Is Money: An Empirical Assessment of Non-Economic Damages Arguments 95 Washington University Law Review (2017)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Tip of the Iceberg II: How the Intended-Uses Principle Produces Medical Knowledge and Protects Liberty 11 New York University Journal of Law and Liberty (2017)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Incentives, Lies, and Disclosure 20 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law (2017)
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  • Christopher Robertson & Aaron S. Kesselheim, Regulating Off-Label Promotion — A Critical Test 375 The New England Journal of Medicine (2016)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Vaccines and Airline Travel: A Federal Role to Protect the Public Health 42 American Journal of Law & Medicine (2016)
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  • Christopher Robertson, D. Alex Winkelman, Kelly Bergstrand & Darren Modzelewski, The Appearance and the Reality of Quid Pro Quo Corruption: An Empirical Investigation 8 Journal of Legal Analysis (2016)
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  • Megan S. Wright, Christopher Robertson & David V. Yokum, Mock Juror and Jury Assessments of Blinded Expert Witnesses, in Blinding as a Solution to Bias: Strengthening Biomedical Science, Forensic Science, and Law (Christopher T. Robertson & Aaron S. Kesselheim,2016)
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  • Christopher Robertson, John Campbell, Bernard Chao & David Yokum, Countering the Plaintiff’s Anchor: Jury Simulations to Evaluate Damages Arguments 101 Iowa Law Review (2016)
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  • Christopher Robertson & Jonathan D. Loe, Federal Government's Proposed Expansion of Regulation of Biospecimen Research Should Be Reconsidered 14 Biopreservation and Biobanking (2016)
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  • Christopher Robertson & Marc A. Rodwin, Money Blinding as a Solution to Industry Influence in Biomedical Science, in Blinding as a Solution to Bias: Strengthening Biomedical Science, Forensic Science, and Law (Christopher T. Robertson & Aaron S. Kesselheim,2016)
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  • Christopher Robertson & Aaron S. Kesselheim, Blinding as a Solution to Bias: Strengthening Biomedical Science, Forensic Science, and Law (2016)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Reducing Wasteful Incarcerations 39 Criminal Justice (2016)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Why Blinding? How Blinding? A Theory of Blinding and Its Application to Institutional Corruption, in Blinding as a Solution to Bias: Strengthening Biomedical Science, Forensic Science, and Law (Christopher T. Robertson & Aaron S. Kesselheim,2016)
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  • Christopher Robertson, An Assessment of the Human Subjects Protection Review Process for Exempt Research 44 Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics (2016)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Medical Causes and Consequences of Home Foreclosures 46 International Journal of Health Services (2016)
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  • Sunita Sah, Christopher Robertson & Shima Baughman, Blinding Prosecutors to Defendants’ Race: A Policy Proposal to Reduce Unconscious Bias in the Criminal Justice System 2 Behavioral Science & Policy (2015)
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  • Athan Papailiou, David Yokum & Christopher Robertson, The Novel New Jersey Eyewitness Instruction Induces Skepticism but Not Sensitivity 10 PLOS ONE (2015)
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  • Christopher Robertson, New DTCA Guidance — Enough to Empower Consumers? 373 The New England Journal of Medicine (2015)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Scaling Cost-Sharing to Wages: How Employers Can Reduce Health Spending and Provide Greater Economic Security 14 Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics (2015)
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  • Christopher Robertson, The FDCA as the Test for Truth of Promotional Claims, in FDA in the Twenty-First Century: The Challenges of Regulating Drugs and New Technologies (Holly Fernandez Lynch & I. Glenn Cohen,2015)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Preserving Public Trust and Demanding Accountability (Introduction to Part II), in FDA in the Twenty-First Century: The Challenges of Regulating Drugs and New Technologies (Holly Fernandez Lynch & I. Glenn Cohen,2015)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Should Patient Responsibility for Costs Change the Doctor-Patient Relationship? 50 Wake Forest Law Review (2015)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Do Observer Effects Matter? A Comment on Langenburg, Bochet, and Ford 6 Forensic Science Policy & Management: An International Journal (2015)
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  • Christopher Robertson, A Problem Not Yet Manifest: Gaps in Insurance Coverage of Medical Interventions After Genetic Testing 2 Journal of Law and the Biosciences (2015)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Scaling and Splitting, New Approaches to Health Insurance 38 Regulation (2015)
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  • Christopher Robertson & Megan Wright, Heterogeneity in IRB Policies with Regard to Disclosures About Payment for Participation in Recruitment Materials 42 Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics (2014)
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  • Christopher Robertson, David V. Yokum, Nimish Sheth & Keith A. Joiner, A Randomized Experiment of the Split Benefit Health Insurance Reform to Reduce High-Cost, Low-Value Consumption 1 Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Health (2014)
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  • Christopher Robertson, An Empirical Method for Materiality: Would Conflict of Interest Disclosures Change Patient Decisions? 40 American Journal of Law and Medicine (2014)
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  • Christopher Robertson, The Presumption Against Expensive Health Care Consumption 49 Tulsa Law Review (2014)
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  • Christopher Robertson & David Yokum, The Burden of Deciding for Yourself: The Disutility Caused by Out-of-Pocket Healthcare Spending 11 Indiana Health Law Review (2014)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Expert Witness Blinding Strategies to Mitigate Bias in Radiology Malpractice Cases: A Comprehensive Review of the Literature 11 Journal of the American College of Radiology (2014)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Perceptions of Efficacy, Morality, and Politics of Potential Cadaveric Organ-Transplantation Reforms 77 Law & Contemporary Problems (2014)
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  • Christopher Robertson, An Empirical Method for Harmless Error 46 Arizona State Law Journal (2014)
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  • Christopher Robertson, When Truth Cannot Be Presumed: The Regulation of Drug Promotion Under an Expanding First Amendment 94 Boston University Law Review (2014)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Distributions of Industry Payments to Massachusetts Physicians 368 New England Journal of Medicine (2013)
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  • Christopher Robertson, The Split Benefit: The Painless Way to Put Skin Back in the Health Care Game 98 Cornell Law Review (2013)
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  • Christopher Robertson, A Randomized Study of How Physicians Interpret Research Funding Disclosures 367 New England Journal of Medicine (2012)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Susannah Rose & Aaron Kesselheim, Effect of Financial Relationships on the Behaviors of Health Care Professionals: A Review of the Evidence 40 Journal of Law, Medicine, & Ethics (2012)
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  • Christopher Robertson, The Effect of Blinded Experts on Jurors’ Verdicts 9 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies (2012)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Contingent Compensation of Post-Conviction Counsel: A Modest Proposal to Identify Meritorious Claims and Reduce Wasteful Government Spending 64 Maine Law Review (2012)
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  • Christopher Robertson, The Money Blind: How to Stop Industry Bias in Biomedical Science, Without Violating the First Amendment 37 American Journal of Law and Medicine (2011)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Biased Advice 60 Emory Law Journal (2011)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Blind Expertise 85 New York University Law Review (2010)
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  • Christopher Robertson, Richard Egelhof & Michael Hoke, Get Sick, Get Out: The Medical Causes of Home Mortgage Foreclosures 18 Health Matrix (2008)
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  • Christopher Robertson, From Free Riders to Fairness: A Cooperative System for Organ Transplantation 48 Jurimetrics (2007)
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In the Media

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  • Relias Media February 1, 2022

    Hospitals Disproportionately Sue Low-Income, Rural, and Black Patients

    Christopher Robertson is quoted.
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  • The Washington Post January 10, 2022

    A New Alzheimer’s Drug Shows Why the FDA’s Speedy Approval Process Is Broken

    Christopher Robertson co-authored a piece.
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  • AFP January 7, 2022

    Nuremberg Code Does Not Say Mandating Masks a ‘War Crime’

    Christopher Robertson is quoted.
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  • MedicalXpress.com December 14, 2021

    Problems with Fast-Tracking New Medicines and Ways to Fix the System

    Christopher Robertson's research is referenced.
    read more

  • Endpoints News December 3, 2021

    Ac­cel­er­at­ed Ap­proval Re­forms Need Mean­ing­ful Con­fir­ma­to­ry Tri­al Im­prove­ments, Pro­fes­sors Write in Sci­ence

    Christopher Robertson is quoted.
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  • KHQA November 16, 2021

    Missouri Farm Bureau, MFA, Sue OSHA over Vaccine Mandate

    Christopher Robertson.
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  • WFAA October 6, 2021

    Verify: No, the Federal Government Can’t Mandate Vaccines to the General Public. Here’s Why

    Christopher Robertson is quoted.
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  • USA TODAY September 19, 2021

    Constitution Allows Biden to Mandate COVID Vaccine. Federal Government Can Do Even More.

    An opinion authored by Christopher Robertson.
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  • The Boston Globe September 10, 2021

    A Supreme Court Case That Originated In Mass. Could Provide A Legal Precedent For President Biden’s Vaccine Mandates, Experts Say

    Christopher Robertson is quoted.
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  • Salon September 3, 2021

    Is It a Crime to Forge a Vaccine Card? And What’s the Penalty for Using a Fake?

    An opinion co-authored by Christopher Robertson.
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  • Bloomberg August 26, 2021

    Covid Shots for U.S. Flights Should Be Next Step

    Christopher Robertson's research is quoted.
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  • The Boston Globe August 13, 2021

    Massachusetts Should Follow New York City’s Lead on Vaccine Requirements

    Christopher Robertson is quoted.
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  • The Washington Post August 11, 2021

    Cruise Ship Vaccine Mandates are Great. The Latest Ruling for them Wasn’t.

    An opinion co-authored by Christopher Robertson.
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  • Witness LA August 10, 2021

    Shining A Bright Light On The Powerful “Black Box” Of Prosecutorial Discretion

    Christopher Robertson's research is cited.
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  • Fortune July 28, 2021

    Pfizer Court Fight Could Legalize Medicare Copays and Unleash ‘Gold Rush’ in Sales

    Christopher Robertson is quoted.
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Courses

Health Care Decisions & Bioethics: LAW JD 727

3 credits

This course will cover issues that arise in clinical healthcare settings, primarily involving who decides and on what basis. Topics include: informed consent and materiality; competence and capacity to give consent; surrogates, advanced directives, physicians orders, and powers of attorney; end-of-life decision making, including withholding/removing treatment, euthanasia, and physician-assisted suicide; clinical ethics committees; patient confidentiality and duties to disclose; human subjects research and institutional review boards; physician conflicts of interest; pre-approval access to drugs; and rationing of scarce healthcare resources.

SPRG 2023: LAW JD 727 A1 , Jan 18th to Apr 26th 2023
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue,Thu 10:45 am 12:10 pm 3 Christopher Robertson

Health Law: LAW JD 856

4 credits

This survey course will cover the principles that govern and influence the interaction of patients, payors, and providers in the field traditionally referred to as "health law." Coverage includes establishment of the physician-patient relationship, privacy and confidentiality, medical malpractice, conflicts of interest, health care financing, federal preemption, billing fraud, public health law, proposals for health care reform, regulation of drugs and devices, licensure of health professions, and regulation of health facilities, including emergency departments. The course content will be in part driven by the students themselves delving deeper into assigned topics, through class presentations.

FALL 2022: LAW JD 856 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 8th 2022
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue,Thu 8:30 am 10:30 am 4 Christopher Robertson