Biolaw: Cracking the Code
James Ming Chen
Michigan State University - College of Law
Kansas Law Review, Vol. 56, No. 4, 2008
University of Louisville School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 2008-12
The neologism "biolaw" describes all areas of law informed by the life sciences. Health law, bioethics, environmental law, natural resources law, agricultural law, food and drug law, biotechnology, law and neuroscience, law and behavioral psychology, and evolutionary analysis of law all share a common scientific core. Lawyers and legal scholars too often address these topics in isolation. This piecemeal approach undermines the scientific cohesion that connects these areas of legal practice and theory. The common core, of course, is biology - all of the life sciences, unified in pursuit of subjects considered worthy of legal attention.
This essay defines biolaw as the field of law and the life sciences in its entirety. Part I of this essay will provide a brief guide to the various branches of biolaw. Part II offers some thoughts on the intellectual significance of treating biolaw as a scientifically coherent enterprise. In other words, I will first define biolaw. Then I will explain why it matters.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: biolaw, health sciences, health law, bioethics, environmental law, natural resources, agriculture law, food and drug law, biotechnology, neuroscience, behavioral psychology
JEL Classification: K32
Date posted: April 2, 2008 ; Last revised: April 6, 2016