Join us for an important meeting:
Roundtable: Family, Privacy, Secrets & the Law March 7-8, 2013
March 7-8, 2013
University of Maryland
Francis King Carey School of Law
500 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
March 7, 5 p.m. - Book Reading and signing by Jonathan Odell, author of The Healing
March 8, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Roundtable discussions
Family, Privacy, Secrets & the Law roundtable engages the intersections of medicine, criminal law, family law, and constitutional law. The conference faculty will chart contemporary issues that span genetic privacy, disclosure of parental identity in assisted reproduction cases and DNA conscription to domestic violence and child sexual abuse.
There are times in which the law protects secrets, such as between a lawyer and client, doctor and patient, or clergy and congregant. Yet, there are times when the law demands that secret-keepers reveal their confidences such as the increasing demand on doctors to disclose confidential medical information on pregnant women to law enforcement. How should we understand the contours and boundaries of these dynamics within the law? On one hand, law tends to address secrets through the lens of legal duties to protect the vulnerable via its regulations governing abuse and neglect. On the other hand, this set of laws captures only a small percentage of secrets held by family members and other trusted “secret keepers” (doctors, clergy, extended family, neighbors) who, for a variety of reasons elect not to inform the state.
This roundtable interrogates states’ obligations to protect the vulnerable and at what cost. It considers the ways in which the law promises/owes protection and the success, failure or harms it brings about when endeavoring to intervene and offer protection. Against that backdrop, the law also has the obligation to honor individual and family autonomy and privacy.