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Lisa Dagostino, a candidate for the J.D./M.B. degrees, calls herself a “poster child” for interdisciplinary study. The third-year law student holds an M.D. degree from UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School where she trained as an obstetrician/gynecologist. Because of her work in this field she was motivated to study the legal and ethical issues surrounding human reproduction.
“Part of the reason why I wanted to study at Penn was because I felt that Penn really encouraged interdisciplinary students and that I would have the possibility of doing the Bioethics degree along with the J.D.,” Dagostino states.
She speaks of the ease with which she has been able to take courses in both areas and receive cross-credits toward each degree. Dagostino has been able to fulfill her law school coursework by working on a law and bioethics issue related to assisted reproductive technology, specifically in-vitro fertilization. The issue revolves around the potential legal and ethical ramifications of the emergence of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis as a means of genetic testing. In addition, Dagostino has been managing editor for the American Journal of Bioethics published by the Center for Bioethics.
Rounding out Penn’s offerings in the discipline of health sciences policy and, in turn, to Law students eager to take advantage of these elective courses, are Wharton’s Health Care Systems Department and the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics based in the School of Medicine. As we observed this past summer in the Congressional debates and parrying over a patient’s bill of rights, policymakers need to know how the economics of health care systems are designed while keeping in mind the impact on human and health services their policy decisions might have.
Wharton’s Health Care Systems Department was developed around the idea that the health care industry is now the nation’s second-largest employer and has had an increasingly important impact on the U.S. economy. Public concern about the management and delivery of health care services is at the top of the national agenda, and the factors and policies influencing health care systems in the U.S. and around the world are a natural subject for researchers.
Legal Duties of the Bioethicist
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