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2023 Jaharis Symposium

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Each year, the Mary and Michael Jaharis Health Law Institute, in collaboration with the College of Law's Center for Intellectual Property Law & Information Technology (CIPLIT®), explores a critical legal issue at the intersection of health law, intellectual property law and information technology.   Fittingly, this year’s symposium explores the seismic shift in the legal regulation of reproductive technologies and health services in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health.   

Our interdisciplinary program brings together academics, legal practitioners and health care professionals to discuss these challenges and opportunities by taking an in-depth look at the wide-ranging legal effects and overall impact these radical changes will have on reproductive health care law going forward.  The day will start with a discussion of the nuts and bolts of regulating contraceptive and abortion care, followed by a look at the legal and ethical responsibilities of reproductive medicine providers, and finally, the future of data privacy and research and development in the realm of reproductive health care.  

March 1, 2023

8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m (CST)
DePaul Center, Room 8005
1 East Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL. 60604

Register here

To view the full agenda and list of presenters, click here​.​

Panel 1: Preempting Pregnancy: Federalism, Medication Abortion and Contraceptive Care  

The U.S. Supreme Court majority opinion in Dobbs overturned decades of legal precedent, passing the power to regulate this component of reproductive health care to the states, creating a patchwork of differing laws across the country. In doing so, it generated a multitude of questions, particularly around the rights, responsibilities and liabilities of patients and providers seeking and providing medication, abortion and contraceptive care. Panelists will offer insights on how to make sense of the ongoing challenges and tensions between federal and state regulations, the use of technologies like telehealth and mail order prescriptions, the practical and equitable implications of limiting access to reproductive medicines, and the future of litigation surrounding reproductive care. 

Panel 2: Fidelity in the Fertility Forum: Legal and Ethical Challenges in Fertility Medicine

The practice of fertility medicine is one of the primary fields utilizing modern reproductive health care technology. Advances in treatment options over the past decades, as well as jurisprudential changes, have introduced new complications to the ethical conflicts present at the heart of this area of medicine. This interdisciplinary panel will take a closer look at the real world legal and ethical responsibilities facing providers post-Dobbs and how the practice is evolving with new technological breakthroughs. 

Featured Speaker: Radhika Rao, Professor of Law, UC College of the Law, San Francisco 

The courts’ long history of regulating reproductive health care informs legal, policy and medical efforts to ensure equitable access to this medical care in the future. Professor Rao will discuss the future of reproductive rights following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs through the historic lens of reproductive health care jurisprudence leading up to this moment. Her experiences clerking for Justices Blackmun and Marshall allow her to offer an insider’s perspective on Roe v. Wade’s viability framework and the role it played in structuring our current understanding of how to regulate reproductive technology. Her keynote will draw upon her extensive scholarship in the fields of abortion, assisted reproduction, cloning, stem cell research, genetic privacy, gene patenting and property rights in the human body.  

Panel 3: Keeping the Personal Private: Data Privacy in Reproductive Health Care Technology  

The proliferation of information technology for tracking, supporting and providing reproductive health treatment raises questions of how to balance the need for technology, especially when it facilitates greater access to care, with the need to protect private health information. Panelists will discuss who has access to this information, the ways in which individuals are unknowingly relinquishing their privacy rights and how third parties are using this data.  

Panel 4: Research in the Reproductive Rights Unknown: The Future of Reproductive Research and Development 

This interdisciplinary panel will look at how the Dobbs precedent already has affected how clinical research in reproductive health care is conducted and has influenced the development of new technologies. Panelists will discuss the need for inclusive and representative clinical trials within this new framework and the impact the decision has on future growth in this area. ​

The JHLI Symposium will be presented in person and online. There is a room cap of 108 in-person attendees, and online participants will receive a link to view the presentation just ahead of the event. 

No proof of vaccination is required of in-person guests and masks are optional.  However, DePaul is a mask-friendly university, and wearing a mask is highly recommended for all indoor spaces. These rules are subject to change in accordance with public health guidance.

DePaul College of Law is an accredited MCLE provider. This event is eligible for up to 7 CLE credit hours. ​