This symposium issue of the Nebraska Law Review is focused explicitly on aspects of physician authority and patient autonomy. The progress of AIDS has everywhere thrown up a myriad of difficult legal issues. These range from issues of research confidentiality to civil liability for transfusion-associated AIDS; from the rights and duties of staff health care professionals who wish to avoid contact with AIDS patients being treated at the institutions where they work, to the rights and duties of health care professionals who wish to treat AIDS patients over the objections of landlords, professional associates, and others. The courts have once more become the primary forum for the resolution of a set of perplexing medicolegal issues. All of the symposium articles importantly involve legal change, not only in centering on the concept of patient autonomy but also in arguing for further legal change, or in arguing for correspondingly changed medical practices in the spirit of the developing law of patient autonomy.
Craig M. Lawson,
Introduction: Medical Science, Moral Controversy, and Legal Change,
64 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol64/iss4/2