Consortium Introduction

The Consortium conducts original research, serves students and faculty, and advances public dialogue and understanding on emerging issues at the intersection of science and society.

Office closed & working remotely -- The Consortium on Law and Values, along with most of the University of Minnesota, is shifting to remote work for all staff beginning March 16. We will still be online and responding to phone and email, but may be slightly delayed in responding to messages. Thanks for your understanding and please take care of yourselves!

Latest News

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National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Draft Human Genome Sequence

July 2, 2020

On June 26, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at NIH celebrated the 20th anniversary of a milestone in genomics. On that date in 2000, then-President Clinton announced the release of a working draft sequence of the human genome in a White House ceremony. In the years since then, the Consortium has collaborated on multiple projects to address the ethical, legal, and societal issues. Examples include LawSeqSM, an NIH-funded research project that led to the creation of a database of federal and state laws on genomics, the Minnesota Precision Medicine Collaborative, and research on return of genomic results and incidental findings to study participants

Covid 19

Members of the Minnesota COVID Ethics Collaborative (MCEC) Publish "Developing an Ethics Framework for Allocating Remdesivir in the COVID-19 Pandemic”

June 15, 2020

Members of the Minnesota COVID Ethics Collaborative (MCEC) and key partners in the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) have published a new article in Mayo Clinic Proceedings on the development of an ethical framework for Minnesota’s allocation of remdesivir, an experimental drug used to treat COVID-19. The authors illuminate the “real-time” bioethics process used to cope with urgent need, resource scarcity, and a still-emerging evidence base. The article can help other states and agencies determine how to allocate remdesivir. MCEC is co-led by Profs. Debra DeBruin at the University’s Center for Bioethics and Susan M. Wolf at the Consortium. 

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Prof. Rachel Hardeman on Structural Racism in Health Care

June 12, 2020

In an article on “Stolen Breaths” in the New England Journal of Medicine, Professor Rachel Hardeman and co-authors powerfully argue that “for the health of the black community and, in turn, the health of the nation, we address the social, economic, political, legal, educational, and health care systems that maintain structural racism.” The authors recommend five practices for health care systems to implement. Professor Hardeman is a faculty member in the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health and an Affiliate Faculty Member in the Center for Bioethics, a Consortium Member Center. To read the article, see the New England Journal of Medicine website.

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Prof. Francis Shen Offers Insights on Neurolaw in ABA Journal

June 10, 2020

The American Bar Association Journal recently spotlighted Professor Francis Shen’s work in a feature story about investment in neurolaw. Professor Shen’s Neurolaw Lab at the University of Minnesota Law School studies a range of issues including dementia, brain injury, and the law. He is also leading research on the challenges raised by emerging neuroimaging technology and is an Affiliate Faculty Member in the Consortium. Read more at the ABA Journal website.  

COVID-19 Resources: Ethical, Legal & Social Implications

The COVID-19 pandemic is posing profound ethical, legal, and social challenges. The Consortium is compiling relevant resources offered by our member centers and by other organizations to help researchers, clinicians, legal professionals, students, and communities navigate these challenges. View COVID-19 resources here

Message from the Consortium Chair

Our Consortium is a large, interdisciplinary community, linked by work on the ethical, legal, and social implications of biomedicine and the life sciences. Across our community, this is a time of deep mourning and challenge. We face a global pandemic that has already taken too many lives. At the same time, we face the brutal murder of George Floyd here in Minneapolis and the entrenched structural racism it revealed. To learn that Mr. Floyd was burdened by COVID-19 in the weeks before his killing makes it dramatically clear that the COVID pandemic and racism are intertwined. The pandemic is starkly illuminating the long-standing health disparities in this country and persistent failure of health care and governing institutions to advance health equity and justice. The results of that failure are horrific.... Read full message here.

Upcoming Events

Consortium Updates

2020 Research Ethics Conference - March 4, 2020 

The University of Minnesota’s 5th annual Research Ethics Conference on March 4, “The Power and Perils of Research Data: Generating, Storing & Sharing Data Responsibly,” focused on issues related to the use, storage, replicability and sharing of all types of data. Presenters and attendees considered data and information management, the challenges of big data, and ethical use of data in health-related research, including consent, confidentiality, and sensitivity to participant concerns. Resources related to the conference are available here; videos are available on the Consortium's YouTube channel. 

LawSeqSM Database

Use the LawSeqSM Database to search the law of genomics in the U.S. – both federal and state law. The Database also offers a Bibliography collecting relevant secondary sources. The goal of the LawSeqSM project is to map and shape the law of genomics to build a solid foundation for clinical integration. Creation of this unique resource was funded by a grant from NIH.