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Book Launch: Big Data, Health Law, and Bioethics

Book Launch: Big Data, Health Law, and Bioethics

Book Launch: "Big Data, Health Law, and Bioethics" from Petrie-Flom Center on Vimeo.

Learn more about this event at the Petrie-Flom Center or read a short writeup.

In March 2018, Cambridge University Press published Big Data, Health Law, and BioethicsThis volume, edited by I. Glenn CohenHolly Fernandez LynchUrs Gasser, and Effy Vayena, stems from the Petrie-Flom Center’s 2016 annual conference, which brought together leading experts to identify the various ways in which law and ethics intersect with the use of big data in health care and health research, particularly in the United States; understand the way U.S. law (and potentially other legal systems) currently promotes or stands as an obstacle to these potential uses; determine what might be learned from the legal and ethical treatment of uses of big data in other sectors and countries; and examine potential solutions (industry best practices, common law, legislative, executive, domestic, and international) for better use of big data in health care and health research in the U.S.

The conference was organized by the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School, in collaboration with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the Health Ethics and Policy Lab, University of Zurich

About the Book

When data from all aspects of our lives can be relevant to our health - from our habits at the grocery store and our Google searches to our FitBit data and our medical records - can we really differentiate between big data and health big data? Will health big data be used for good, such as to improve drug safety, or ill, as in insurance discrimination? Will it disrupt health care (and the health care system) as we know it? Will it be possible to protect our health privacy? What barriers will there be to collecting and utilizing health big data? What role should law play, and what ethical concerns may arise? This timely, groundbreaking volume explores these questions and more from a variety of perspectives, examining how law promotes or discourages the use of big data in the health care sphere, and also what we can learn from other sectors.


  • Urs Gasser, Executive Director, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and Professor of Practice, Harvard Law School

  • Ameet Sarpatwari, Assistant Director, Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law (PORTAL), Brigham & Women's Hospital; Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; and Associate Epidemiologist, Brigham & Women’s Hospital

  • Carmel Shachar, Executive Director, Petrie-Flom Center and Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School

  • Moderator: I. Glenn Cohen, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School and Faculty Director, Petrie-Flom Center

This event is free and open to the public.

Join Petrie Flom in the HLS Pub after the panel discussion for the 2018 Petrie-Flom Center Open House!

Past Event
Sep 12, 2018
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM ET
HLS Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East B (Room 2036, second floor)
1585 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138 US

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