Designer Babies, Robot Malpractice, and the Cures for Cancer: A Legal Survey of Some Medical Innovations

38 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2018 Last revised: 12 Mar 2020

See all articles by Max Raskin

Max Raskin

New York University School of Law

Date Written: 2018


Recent advances in computer science and genetic research have made certain medical phenomena more complex, yet more promising. A group of new innovations – CRISPR, immunotherapy, and artificial intelligence – has been touted as fundamentally changing the nature of medicine. The purpose of this article is two-fold – first it aims to introduce these breakthroughs to the legal community. Second, we hope to show how these breakthroughs fit into the existing legal framework. Medical innovations do not require innovative jurisprudence or novel regulatory schemes. If there are areas where there are difficulties fitting technology into existing legal and regulatory frameworks, this is a mark against the framework, not against the technology. A theme of the article is that areas of the law which derive from the casuistry of common law – case-by-case reasoning – such as medical malpractice, have legal standards that are robust and capable of dealing with a novelty such as a robot doctor. Areas of the law that have been created relatively recently in response to political vicissitudes, such as the Food and Drug Administration, have more difficulty dealing with a phenomenon like the personalized medicine of new immunotherapies. We hope to show where the law gets it right and where there are issues.

Keywords: Law and Medicine, Medical Innovation, CRISPR, Artificial Intelligence, Medical Ethics, FDA

Suggested Citation

Raskin, Max, Designer Babies, Robot Malpractice, and the Cures for Cancer: A Legal Survey of Some Medical Innovations (2018). NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, Vol. 11, 2018, NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 18-49, Available at SSRN:

Max Raskin (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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