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Henry Greely, health, natural resources law expert, named Stanford law professor

STANFORD -- Henry T. Greely, 39, of Stanford Law School has been granted tenure and promoted to the rank of professor, effective Jan. 1.

His appointment was formally reported to the Stanford University Board of Trustees on Feb. 11.

Greely has been a member of the faculty since 1985, when he entered the field of teaching after earning partnership in a major Los Angeles law firm.

"Hank Greely is one of the few widely recognized authorities in the emerging and vital field of health law," said Dean Paul Brest in his report to the Stanford trustees.

"He is also expert in other important areas where the law intersects with science and medicine, notably natural resources law, energy and the environment."

Greely's primary focus is the troubled system for delivering health care in the United States.

"Our health care system is unstable in three crucial attributes - access, quality and cost," Greely said in a recent interview.

"Whether major reforms are coming is not a realistic issue. The key questions are when and how. With Stanford's great strengths in medicine, business, economics and other relevant fields, this university is the dream location for a lawyer interested in those questions."

Greely's overall assessment of instabilities in the American health care system can be found in his introduction to the newly published symposium on the system in Stanford Law and Policy Review.

One important source of stress for the health care system is the inexorable increase in knowledge about health risks and how they vary among individuals.

"The revolution in genetics is the most obvious source of such knowledge, but this information is exploding from many sources, including statistical analysis of past use of health service," Greely said.

"With this knowledge comes the threat of discrimination in insurance, in employment and in health benefits."

Greely has contributed a chapter on this issue to a forthcoming book on the Human Genome Project, the international effort to map and decipher all human genes within 15 years. The book, called The Code of Codes and edited by D. Kevles and L. Hood, is scheduled for publication in 1992 by Harvard University Press.

Greely's interest in the social effects of knowledge about individual health grew out of his concern about the response of the American health care system to the HIV epidemic. He served on the California AIDS Leadership Commission's Subcommittee on Finance and Delivery of Health Services and has written and spoken widely on the subject.

One article, "AIDS and the American Health Care Financing System," appeared in the University of Pittsburgh Law Review (51:1, Fall 1989). A chapter on the same subject is part of a forthcoming French book, SIDA: constraintes economiques et politique de Sante (AIDS: Economic and Political Constraints on Health Care) edited by D. Lambert et al.

Greely is involved with physicians and researchers in efforts to address some of the ethical dilemmas in biomedical research and health care. He has been an active participant and steering committee member of the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics, as well as a member of the Stanford University Medical Center Committee on Ethics, which it superseded. He was the lead author of "The Ethical Use of Human Fetal Tissue in Medicine," which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine (320:1093, April 20, 1989).

Other health-related topics addressed by Greely include medical malpractice litigation and litigators, the use of practice guidelines in medicine, continuous quality improvement, and the drug regulatory system in relation to the abortifacient RU-486.

Greely gained expertise in the field of energy law and the related areas of natural resources and environmental law through work with the U.S. Department of Energy, where he was staff assistant to Secretary of Energy Charles W. Duncan Jr. from 1979 to 1981.

His most recent publication in this field is a review of the book, The Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund and Environment Litigation, in the current Stanford Environmental Law Journal (10:228, 1991).

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Greely grew up in Orange County, Calif. He received a bachelor's degree in political science from Stanford University in 1974 and a law degree (J.D.) from Yale Law School in 1977.

After graduation, he served as a law clerk for Judge John Minor Wisdom of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans (1977-78) before moving to the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., as a clerk for Justice Potter Stewart (1978-79).

Greely remained in the capital for the next two years, first as a special assistant to the general counsel in the Department of Defense (1979) and then in the Energy Department position.

He gained experience in private practice as a litigation attorney with the Los Angeles law firm of Tuttle & Taylor Inc., becoming a partner in 1984.

Greely joined the Stanford Law School faculty in 1985 with the rank of associate professor.

He teaches courses in health law and policy, and advanced issues in health law. He also teaches "Problems of Tobacco in American Society" (co-taught with Stanford biology Prof. Sharon Long). He also lectures on health law topics in courses at the schools of Medicine and Business.

Greely's courses in non-health areas are "Energy Law and Policy," "Oil and Gas Law," "Property," "Real Estate Transactions" and four seminars: "Hazardous Waste Law," "Regulation of Financial Institutions," "Nonregulatory Regulation," and "Empirical Methods."

An innovative teacher, Greely seeks to make his students aware of "real world" factors, as well as the letter of the law.

He often utilizes simulations in which students take on the roles of various parties to a dispute. Such exercises, he explained, "force law students to see legal issues from perspectives beyond those of a judge. They reveal that there are aspects of situations besides the abstract rules, such as the personalities and motivation of the individuals involved."

Greely also has entered the field of education for practicing lawyers as chair of Stanford Law School's dean's committee to organize a program of continuing legal education

In 1992, the first year of the Stanford program, 20 courses are being offered on a variety of subjects and in several locations.

Greely is married to Laura Butcher, M.D., a physician specializing in internal medicine with the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group in San Jose.

The couple lives in Los Altos with their two children, John Wisdom Greely, 3, and Eleanor Rose Greely, 4 months.



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