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A - Background

The Centre for Biomedical Law (CDB) was created by a decision of the Academic Board of the Faculty of Law, at the suggestion of Prof. Guilherme de Oliveira, in May 1988. In November 1997, the Centre was constituted as a private, non profit-making Association.
For the first few years, it was directed by Prof. Francisco Pereira Coelho, and its current director is Prof. Guilherme de Oliveira.
At first, the members of the Centre were lecturers from the Faculty of Law, from various specialities - Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Civil Law, Criminal Law and Labour Law. After it became a non profit-making organization, and under its articles of association, the CDB opened its doors to other members. It is now proud to number among its membership some distinguished professionals from the fields of Law and Health.
The CDB is concerned with organizing public debate on topics of Biomedical Law, with improving the bibliographical resources of the Faculty of Law, and with promoting education in Health Law.

B - Education

1 - Postgraduate studies in Medical Law

Co-ordinator: Prof. Guilherme de Oliveira

This course aims to provide its students with specialist legal training in Medical Law. The first part of the course - a general introduction - is composed of modules that are designed to set Medical Law in the framework of the major doctrinal areas of Law: Constitutional; Administrative, Civil, Criminal, Labour, Confidentiality and Data Protection, and Ethics Committees. Special attention has been given to patients' rights and to the civil, criminal and disciplinary liability of doctors.
The second - specific - part will deal in detail with the multiple domains in this branch of law: Treatment and arbitrary Medical-surgical Interventions; HIV and AIDS; Drug Addiction; elective Abortion, Assisted Procreation, Surrogate Mothers, Cloning, Mental Health, Clinical Experimentation, Prenatal Diagnostics, Organ and Tissue Harvesting and Transplantation, Transsexualism, the Medical expert, Understanding the Human Genome, and Biotechnological Patents.

2 - Postgraduate studies in Pharmacy and Medicinal Products Law

Co-ordinator: Prof. Guilherme de Oliveira (Faculty of Law) and Prof. João Rui Pita (Faculty of Pharmacy)

The CDB is starting its 1st Postgraduate Course in Pharmacy and Medicinal Products Law.
Regarding the law on medicinal products, the first part of the course includes an introduction to the History, Sociology, Economics and Management of Medicinal Products. At the level of drug creation, attention is paid to Clinical Trials on Human Beings and animals, and Pharmacogenetics. With respect to drug dynamics, national and Community Institutions for regulating drugs are studied, along with International and Community Law on Medicinal Products, Biotechnological Patents, Advertising of Medicinal Products, and the Civil Liability of the Pharmaceutical Industry.
With respect to Pharmacy Law, issues related to the ownership of Pharmacies, the leasing of Pharmacies, Pharmaceutical Deontology, Personal Databases in Pharmacies and the Pharmacist's Civil, Criminal and Disciplinary Liability will be examined.

3 - Collaboration with other Centres

Members of the CDB collaborate with other organizations, namely, with the Faculties of Medicine, Psychology and Education Sciences and Economics, in the University of Coimbra, and with the Coimbra Centre for Bioethical Studies and the Ordem dos Médicos (Medical Association).
Internationally, academic and scientific links are maintained with a number of European institutions, including: the Institut fuer Medizin- und Arzteimittelrecht (Goettingen, Germany); the Institut fuer Deutsches, Europaeisches und Internationales Medizinrecht, Gesundheitsrecht und Bioethik, of Heidelberg and Mannheim (Germany); the Center for Etik og Ret (Copenhagen, Denmark); the Sheffield Institute of Biotechnological Law and Ethics (England), the Interfacultair Centrum voor Biomedische Ethiek en Recht Leuven (Belgium), and the Catedra Interuniversitaria Genoma y Derecho (Bilbao, Spain).

4 - Colloquiums and Short Courses

The CDB has organized public discussion on the major topics of advances in medical science at interdisciplinary colloquiums on Assisted Reproduction, Transplant, Analysis of the Human Genome, HIV and AIDS, Mental Health Law and Clinical Trials. Its members are also regularly invited to take part in debates organized by other institutions interested in Biomedical subjects.
Quite recently (September 2001), it held an Intensive Course on Medical Law / Cours Intensif de Droit Médical, bringing some of the most distinguished Professors from the finest Universities and Biomedical Law Research Centres to Coimbra. The course was attended by a large number of undergraduate and postgraduate students from Europe, Brazil and Africa. It comprised about 50 hours of classes and was designed to explore the various branches of Medical Law in depth.
Two seminars are being prepared, on 'Biology and Genetics for Jurists', and 'Intra-family communication of genetic data'.

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Genome Analysis

Legal Rules - Practical Application
Coimbra, Almedina 1994
ISBN 972-40-0779-0

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