Past John & Marsha Ryan Bioethicist- in- Residence
2012 Ryan Bioethicist
Rebecca Susan Dresser, B.A., M.S., J.D.
"When Seriously Ill Patients Make Bad Treatment Decisions"
March 28, 2012
Rebecca Dresser is the Daniel Noyes Kirby Professor of Law and Professor of Ethics in Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. Since 1983, she has taught medical and law students about legal and ethical issues in end-of-life care, biomedical research, genetics, assisted reproduction, and related topics. Before coming to Washington University, she taught at Baylor College of Medicine and Case Western Reserve University. In 2003, she was a Visiting Research Scholar at the University of Tokyo, where she taught a short course in law and bioethics.
Professor Dresser received her law degree from Harvard Law School. She is a Fellow of the Hastings Center and is one of the "At Law" columnists for the Hastings Center Report. Her book, When Science Offers Salvation: Patient Advocacy and Research Ethics, was published by Oxford University Press in 2001. She is a co-author of The Human Use of Animals: Case Studies in Ethical Choice (Oxford University Press, 2d Edition, 2008) and Bioethics and Law: Cases, Materials and Problems (West Publishing Co., 2003). She also is editor of and contributor to the forthcoming Malignant: Medical Ethicists Confront Cancer (Oxford University Press, 2012).
Professor Dresser has written commissioned papers for the National Academy of Sciences and National Bioethics Advisory Commission. From 2002-2009, she was a member of the President's Council on Bioethics. In 2011, she was appointed to the National Institutes of Health Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee.