Cohen Promoted to Professor of Law at Harvard

Photo by Tony RinaldoPhoto by Tony Rinaldo
Harvard Law School Recent News and Spotlights
March 8, 2013

Following a vote of the Harvard Law School faculty, I. Glenn Cohen, a leading expert on the intersection of health care, bioethics and the law, will be promoted from assistant professor to tenured professor of law, effective July 1. Cohen has served as an assistant professor since 2008, and as co-director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics since 2009.

Said HLS Dean Martha Minow: "Glenn is an amazing scholar and superb teacher whose imaginative and rigorous work pursues new frontiers in health law, bioethics, and biotechnology. His comprehensive examinations of medical tourism and new reproductive technologies illustrate his signature use of philosophic, empirical, doctrinal, and practical concerns; he brings fresh ideas, indefatigable attention, and a talent for collaboration across the university and beyond as co-leader of the Petrie-Flom Center. His civil procedure students as well as those studying health and bioethics are so lucky to learn with him – and so are his colleagues who eagerly welcome him to the ranks of the tenured faculty."

During his time at HLS, Cohen has taught courses in bioethics, health law and civil procedure. His current projects relate to reproduction/reproductive technology, to comparing the way law and medicine deal with similar ethical issues facing the professions, and to medical tourism – the travel of patients who are residents of one country, the "home country," to another country, the "destination country," for medical treatment. His past work has included projects on end-of-life decision-making, FDA regulation, research ethics and commodification.

“Having been a student, fellow, and assistant professor at HLS, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities the school has given me and the mentorship and support from the Dean and my colleagues,” Cohen said. “Harvard remains one of (if not the) key hubs for doing work on health care and bioethics, so I am incredibly excited to continue to mentor students, connect with colleagues, and launch new projects at the law school and across the university.”

Cohen was selected by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University to be a Radcliffe Institute Fellow for the 2012-2013 year, with a focus on medical tourism. In September 2012, Cohen was selected by the Greenwall Foundation to receive a Faculty Scholar Award in Bioethics. The award allows recipients to conduct extensive independent research to help set public policy and standards of clinical practice.   

Cohen is the editor of the recently published "The Globalization of Health Care: Legal and Ethical Issues" (Oxford University Press, 2013, the introduction of which is available at SSRN). That book will be followed by an upcoming single authored book, "Patients with Passports: Medical Tourism, Law, and Ethics" (under contract with Oxford University Press), which he is writing this year while on the Radcliffe fellowship. He also has two other books under contract with Oxford University Press and MIT Press.

It was announced in January that Cohen will serve as a co-investigator on the Harvard Integrated Program to Protect and Improve the Health of NFLPA Members, a 10-year initiative in which he and colleagues at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics, the Harvard Medical School and other parts of the University will work with the National Football League Player’s Association to discover new approaches to diagnosing, treating, and preventing injuries and illnesses in both active and retired athletes.

His award-winning work has appeared in leading legal journals (including the Stanford, Cornell, and Southern California Law Reviews, the Journal of Legal Analysis), medicine (including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA), bioethics (including the American Journal of Bioethics, the Hastings Center Report) and public health (the American Journal of Public Health).

Prior to joining Harvard’s faculty, Cohen served as a clerk to Chief Judge Michael Boudin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and as an appellate attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Appellate staff, where he acted as lead counsel in more than 12 Circuit Court cases and represented the United States in the U.S. Supreme Court, in conjunction with the Solicitor General's office, and as a fellow at the Petrie-Flom Center.

He earned his B.A. in bioethics/philosophy and psychology, with honors, in 2000 from the University of Toronto, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2003.

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