Law Professor John Robertson Given Lifetime Achievement Award

July 20, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas — The American Society for Law, Medicine & Ethics (ASLME) presented a special lifetime achievement award to Professor John A. Robertson of The University of Texas School of Law during the 33rd annual Health Law Professors Conference in Austin last month.

The award recognizes Robertson, one of the nation's leading experts in law and bioethics, for dedicating his career to the field of health law.

"John was one of the earliest law professors to consider medicine from an ethical and policy perspective. He showed the rest of us how it could be done, and done well," said Rebecca Dresser, a professor of law and of ethics in medicine at Washington University in St. Louis who presented the award to Robertson at a Friday night barbecue during the annual conference on June 3-5. "His law review articles were models, setting standards for others to aim for, though rarely meet. He has also become the leading legal scholar in the field of assisted reproduction."

The lifetime achievement award is not presented annually, and Robertson is only the second person that ASLME has recognized with this honor in recent years.

"John Robertson is one of the Law School's treasures, and I am delighted to see him recognized for lifetime achievement by his colleagues in bioethics and health law," Dean Larry Sager said.

Also at the annual conference, ASLME awarded the Jay Healey Teaching Award to Eleanor Kinney of the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis for her dedication to teaching and the field of health law. Kinney founded the Hall Center for Law and Health at Indiana University and is co-director of the center.

"Eleanor has devoted the last 25 years to health law teaching and has made major contributions to her students, to research knowledge, and to public service," said UT Law Professor William M. Sage, who hosted this year's conference and also is the vice provost for health affairs at The University of Texas at Austin.

About 150 professionals who teach health law, bioethics or similar subjects attended the conference, which was held for the first time at the Law School. UT Law co-sponsored the conference with the George McMillan Fleming Center for Law and Innovation in Biomedicine and Healthcare, and the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics. The conference featured about 70 speakers, with three plenary sessions on national health reform, one on bioethics and one on interdisciplinary education involving law and medicine, plus 16 breakout sessions on a variety of topics.

Robertson holds the Vinson and Elkins Chair at The University of Texas School of Law. He has written and lectured widely on law and bio-ethical issues. He is the author of "The Rights of the Critically Ill" (1983) and "Children of Choice: Freedom and the New Reproductive Technologies" (1994) and numerous articles on reproductive rights, genetics, organ transplantation and human experimentation. He has been a consultant to and has served on many national bioethics advisory bodies, and is chair of the Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Download a high-resolution photo of Robertson online at www.utexas.edu/law/faculty/hiResPhotos/robertson_john_lg.jpg

Related Link: UT Law School hosts 2010 Health Law Professors Conference

For more information, contact: Laura Castro, director of media relations, School of Law, 512-825-9525 (cell).