Faculty Information

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  • Biography

    A.B., Hamilton College
    J.D., Albany Law School
    Editor-in-Chief, Albany Law Review

    Prior to her appointment as Acting Dean, she served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Intellectual Life. She is a Professor of Law at Albany Law School and a Professor of Bioethics in the Union Graduate College/Mt. Sinai School of Medicine Program in Bioethics. Her research focuses on health law, disability rights, family law, children’s rights, and human reproduction. Her book, Bioethics and Disability: Toward a Disability Conscious Bioethicswas published in 2011 by Cambridge University Press. She has authored numerous articles published in academic journals such as the American Journal of Law and Medicine, the Hastings Center Report, the American Journal of Bioethics, the Hastings Law Journal, the Indiana Law Journal and Oregon Law Review. She is also a co-editor of the definitive Cambridge Dictionary of Bioethics (forthcoming) (co-edited with Laurence McCullough and Robert Baker). 

    Before joining the law faculty, Professor Ouellette served as an Assistant Solicitor General in the New York State-Attorney General’s office. As ASG, Prof. Ouellette briefed and argued more than 100 appeals on issues ranging from termination of treatment for the terminally ill to the responsibility of gun manufacturers for injuries caused by handguns. Before that, Prof. Ouellette worked in private practice and served as a confidential law clerk to Judge Howard A. Levine on the New York State Court of Appeals. She has continued her advocacy work in select cases and was lead counsel on the law professors' brief submitted in support of same-sex couples who sought the right to marry in New York state.

  • Book: Bioethics and Disability

    BIOETHICS AND DISABILITY: TOWARD A DISABILITY-CONSCIOUS BIOETHICS (Cambridge University Press, 2011), takes on the tension between disability rights scholars and bioethicists. According to some disability rights activists, bioethicists focus too broadly on the concept of patient rights at the expense of the practical challenges facing individuals with disabilities.

    BioethicsCover.jpg“The book explores why this tension exists, and it takes seriously the charge that medicine in general, and bioethics in particular, would better serve people of all abilities if it were more mindful of disability issues,” explained Professor Ouellette, who is also a professor of bioethics at the Union Graduate College/Mount Sinai School of Medicine Program in Bioethics.

    For example, Professor Ouellette continued, “A man who was rendered a ventilator-dependant quadriplegic via a motorcycle accident became despondent after being isolated for months in nursing homes and a hospital ICU. He petitioned a court for—and won—the right to turn off his ventilator. While bioethicists argued that the choice to end his life was his alone, disability experts intervened and found a way for him to live and work at home, which improved his life and ultimately contributed to his decision not to turn off the ventilator.”

    “Working together, bioethicists, disability rights advocates, doctors and nurses can learn to look past disability to see the bigger picture, thereby developing appropriate, comprehensive treatments that ensure positive quality of life for everyone,” concluded Professor Ouellette.

    A leading scholar in the field of bioethics, Professor Ouellette is co-editing the definitive Cambridge Dictionary of Bioethics (forthcoming) and contributed the article “Growth Attenuation, Parental Choice, and the Rights of Disabled Children: Lessons from the Ashley X Case” to the Houston Journal of Health Law. She has been published widely throughout her career in academic journals such as the American Journal of Law and Medicine, the Hastings Center Report, theAmerican Journal of Bioethics, the Indiana Law Journal and Oregon Law Review.

  • Select Presentations

    The Supreme Court Ruling and What it Means, a Panel Discussion at BlueShield of Northeastern New York, June 29, 2012.

    Bioethics and Disability, Society for Disability Studies Annual Meeting, Denver Colorado, June 23, 2012.

    Physicians with Disabilities: Barriers and Opportunities, Health Law Professors Conference, Tempe Arizona, June 9, 2012.

    The Right to Health, at Prisoners of the Iranian Regime: Lessons for Lawyers,  a panel discussion, Albany Law School, February 2, 2012.

    Health and Human Rights, World AIDS Day, University at Albany School for Human Rights, December 1, 2011.

    Top Ten Legal Developments in Bioethics, ASBH Annual Meeting, Minneapolis MN, October 15, 2011 (with Arthur Derse and Amy Campbell).

    Too Close to Home: Scientists Who Use Their Own Children as Research Subjects, Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Conference, Hilton Head, SC, July 26, 2011.

    Body Modification, Adolescents, and the Law, University of Maryland School of  Law, Roundtable on Acolescent Decision Making, Baltimore, April 15, 2011.

    2010 Family Health Care Decisions Act: Key Provisions and Impact at the Bedside, Albany Medical College, November 19, 2010.

    Shaping Parental Authority over Children’s Bodies, Law and Society Annual Meeting, Chicago.  May 29, 2010.

    Disability and Health Care Resource Allocation, at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine at a conference sponsored by the University of Maryland School of Law and the Maryland Health Care Ethics Committee Network.  April 28, 2010.

    Disability and Bioethics, National Expert presentation, Mellon Central New York Humanities Corridor Disability and Medical Humanities Workshop, Syracuse NY, December 4, 2009.

    Health Information Technology as Health Reform, Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Palm Beach Florida, August 5, 2009.

    From Pre-implantation Genetic Modification to Plastic Surgery: Parental Authority over Children’s Bodies, Health Law Professors Conference, Cleveland, June 6, 2009.

    Pre-implantation Genetic Modification, Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, Roundtable with Kirsten Smolensky, Rhadika Rao, Jaime King, Glenn Cohen, Denver, May 30, 2009.

    The Role of Professional Conscience in Healthcare, Featured Speaker, Annual Meeting of the Schenectady County Bar Association, the Schenectady County Medical Association, and the Schenectady County Dental Association, April 2, 2009.

    Regulating the Cure: A Symposium on the Legal Regulation of Off-Label Drug Use, Moderator, Albany Law School, March 27, 2009.

    A Disability Sensitive Response to Professor Smolensky, Hastings Law School, January 22, 2009.

    Youthful Indiscretion:  Teenagers and Cosmetic Surgery, Health Law Professor’s Conference, June 6, 2008.

    Law and Bioethics, an Introduction, Union/Mt. Sinai School of Medicine Program in Bioethics Proseminar, August 6, 2008.

    Pediatric Ethics, Albany Medical College, Bioethics Scholars Program, May 14, 2008.

    Hernandez v. Robles and its Aftermath, Society, Security, and Civil Rights:  Examining Sanctioned Discrimination Across Three Generations, a symposium sponsored by The Justice Robert H. Jackson Lecture Series, Albany Law School, April 4, 2008.

    Decisionmaking for Children, Ethics Grand Rounds, Albany Medical College, April 3, 2008.

    Restraining Parental Choice to Size and Shape Children, The Hastings Center, December 10, 2007.

    Bioethics and Law, Hospital Ethics Committees Swap Shop, a Mt. Sinai Medical College-Union Graduate College Conference, Union College, September 28, 2007.

    Pediatrics, Law, and Ethics: the Ashley X Case, 19th Annual Bioethics Summer Camp, Lake George, July 2007.

    Sizing, Shaping, and Sculpting Children: A Call to Limit Parental Discretion, Health Law Professors Conference, Boston, June 2007.

    States and Bioethics, State Courts as Unsung Heroes, Panel Presentation, American Society of Bioethics and Humanities Annual Conference, Denver, October 2006.

    Disability and the End of Life Lobby, panel presentation, Health Law Teachers Conference, Baltimore,  June 2006.

    Advancing Advanced Legal Writing, lecture/workshop, Legal Writing Institute Biennial Meeting, Atlanta, June 2006.

    Life, Death, and the U.S. Supreme Court, half day workshop presented to Connecticut’s High  School History Teachers as part of  the Connecticut Urban Consortium for Teaching United State Constitutional History, New Haven, July 2006.

    Death and Dying in America, session chair, Politics and Bioethics Conference, ASBH summer meeting, Albany, July 2006.

    The Disability Lobby and Disability Scholarship, an Uncomfortable Marriage, Politics and Bioethics Conference, panel presentation, ASBH Summer Conference, Albany, July  2006.

    Federalism and Bioethics, lecture, Rockefeller Institute, May 2006.

    Importing Illegal Pharmaceuticals, session chair, Albany Journal of Science and Technology Symposium, February, 2006.

    Ethical Issues in Flu Pandemic, lecture, Regional Preparedness Center (200+ attendees), State of New York University, School of Public Health , June 2005.

    Disability and the End of Life, lecture, Gilvary Symposium, University of Dayton School of Law, October 22, 2005.

    Disability and End-of-Life Decisionmaking, lecture, Capital District Medical Decision Making Interest Group, Albany, December 13, 2005.

    Supervising Student Research Papers: Guidelines for Ensuring that the Paper Course is More than the Easy “A”,  lecture/workshop,  New England Legal Writing Teachers Regional Conference, December 2005.

    Abortion and the Law, lecture, Presented at Albany Medical Center Hospital March 30, 2005.

    New York’s Restrictions on Family Decisionmaking: A Tragic Result and a Legislative Response, lecture presented at Medical Ethics Grand Rounds, Albany Medical Center Hospital, January 17, 2003; SUNY Albany, February, 20, 2003.

    How Blind Adherence to Vitalism Forced New York, Missouri and Michigan Physicians to Torture Permanently Incompetent Adults with Nutrition and Hydration: A Proposal to Prevent the Inhumane Treatment of the Permanently Incompetent, lecture, Albany Medical Center, August 2003.

    Public Speaking for Lawyers, a two day course in continuing legal education, presented at the New York State Court of Appeals February 2002.

  • Selected Cases, Briefed and Argued

    New York State Ass'n of Criminal Defense Lawyers v. Judith S. Kaye, 96 N.Y.2d 512 (2001)
    In this case, petitioners, an association of criminal defense lawyers, sought to invalidate an order of the Judges of the New York Court of Appeals that lowered the fees paid to attorneys who represent capital defendants. The Appellate Division, Third Department, dismissed the petition on the ground that the petitioners lacked standing to maintain the lawsuit. The Court of Appeals declined to reach the standing issue and upheld the legality and rationality of the order finding that the governing statute gave them plenary power over fees paid to capital counsel.  Click HERE to see full case

    Hamilton v. Beretta U.S.A., 96 N.Y.2d 222 (2001) (brief only)
    The Attorney General appeared as amicus curiae in this case, which was commenced by victims of gun violence against 25 gun manufacturers. The plaintiffs obtained a jury verdict in federal district court against the manufacturers on a theory of negligent distribution and marketing. The case was appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which certified to the New York Court of Appeals two critical questions of state law: whether manufacturers have a duty to use reasonable care in distributing guns; and whether liability may be imposed against the manufacturers on a market share theory of liability. The Court declined to recognize such a duty of care on this record, but left the door open for a successful lawsuit on in a future case.  Click HERE to see full case

    Brown v. Wing, 93 N.Y.2d 517 (1999)
    In this case, the Court of Appeals held that relevant federal and state statutes authorize the Department of Social Services to determine that a period of Medicaid ineligibility commenced on the first day of the month after which the petitioners' asset transfers had occurred.  Click HERE to see full case

    Barna v. Travis, 239 F.3d 169 (2d Cir. 2001)
    In this case, the Second Circuit upheld the so-called Pataki Policy, under which violent felony offenders are ineligible for parole, against challenges that the Policy violated inmates' due process rights and the Ex-Post Facto Clause. The Court held that inmates have no liberty interest in parole release.  Click HERE to see full case

    Griffin v. Mann, 156 F.3d 288 (2d Cir. 1998)
    In this case, the Second Circuit reversed a grant of a writ of habeas corpus, and upheld the constitutionality and the application of New York's persistent felony offender statute.  Click HERE to see full case

    Board of Ed. of the Roosevelt Central School District v. SUNY Trustees, decided May and October 2001
    In this case of first impression, the Appellate Division, Third Department held that municipal plaintiffs have standing to challenge the granting of a charter to a charter school. It also accepted the Agency's interpretation of the enabling statute as a valid one.

    Medvedev v. Wing, 249 A.D.2d 755 (1998)
    The Third Department upheld as constitutional the use of finger imaging on public assistance recipients. Petitioners argued that the practice violated their First Amendment rights to free exercise of religion because of their religious belief that finger imaging leaves the "mark of the beast" on those who are imaged and causes their eternal damnation.
    Click HERE to see full case

Bo​oks

 Books Content Query

  • Co-editor, THE CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY OF BIOETHICS (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming) (co-edited with Laurence McCullough and Robert Baker) (forthcoming)

Publications

  • Professor Ouellette co-authored with a team of researchers from the University of Michigan, a empirical piece assessing ADA compliance of technical standards for admission to U.S. medical schools. She and the rest of the research team will be presenting their results at the AAFP annual meeting.

  • BIOETHICS AND DISABILITY: TOWARD A DISABILITY-CONSCIOUS BIOETHICS (Cambridge University Press, 2011).

  • Hearing the Deaf: Cochlear Implants, the Deaf Community, and Bioethical Analysis, 45 Valparaiso U. L. Rev. 1247 (2011) (invited submission for symposium issue)papers.cfm

  • Shaping Parental Authority Over Children's Bodies, 85 Indiana Law Journal 955 (2010)papers.cfm

  • Eyes Wide Open: Considering the Implications of a Case of Surgery to Westernize the Eyes of an Asian Child, 39 Hastings Center Review 15 (2009) reprinted 1 Asian Bioethics Review 31 (2009)papers.cfm

  • Moral Reasoning in Judicial Decision on Same-Sex Marriage in PHILOSOPHY AND SEX, 4th ed. (Promethius, 2009)

  • Insult to Injury: A Response to Professor Smolensky's Call for Parental Tort Liability for Preimplantation Genetic Intervention, 60 Hastings Law Journal 397 (2009)papers.cfm

  • Lawrence v. Texas in MILESTONE DOCUMENTS IN AMERICAN HISTORY (Finkelman, et al., eds., 2008)

  • Termination of Life-Support for a Never-Competent Patient: The Case of Sheila Pouliot in ETHICAL ISSUES IN MODERN MEDICINE, 7th ed., (McGraw Hill, 2007)

  • Federalism and Bioethics: States and the Moral Pluralism, 37 Hastings Center Report 24 (2007) (with James W. Fossett, Sean Philpott, David Magnus, and Glenn McGee)papers.cfm

  • Now and Always Our Chief: The Honorable Judith S. Kaye, 70 Albany Law Review 815 (2007)papers.cfm

  • Practical, State, and Federal Limits on the Scope of Compelled Disclosure of Health Records, 7(3) The American Journal of Bioethics 46 (2007) (with Beverly Cohen)

  • Practical, State, and Federal Limits on the Scope of Compelled Disclosure of Health Records, 7 (no.3) The American Journal of Bioethics 46 (2007) (with Alicia Ouellette)

  • Disability and the End of Life, 85 Oregon Law Review 123 (2006) papers.cfm

  • Lessons across the Pond: Assisted Reproductive Technology in the United Kingdom and the United States, 31 American Journal of Law and Medicine 419 (2005) (co-author)papers.cfm

  • When Vitalism is Dead Wrong: The Discrimination Against and Torture of Incompetent Patients by Life Sustaining Treatment, 79 Indiana Law Journal 1 (2004)papers.cfm

  • Discriminatory Treatment on the Roadways: Pretextual Traffic Stops of Middle Easterners After People v. Robinson, 4 Government Law and Policy Journal 41 (2002)papers.cfm

  • Freestyle Lawyering: Taking an Expedited Appeal in the New York State Courts, 4 Journal of Appellate Practice and Process 243 (2002) papers.cfm

  • New Medical Technology: A Chance to Re-examine Court-Ordered Medical Intervention During Pregnancy, 57 Albany Law Review 927 (1994)

Forthcoming Publications

  • Patients to Peers: Barriers and Opportunities for Doctors with Disabilities, Nevada Law Review (forthcoming) papers.cfm

  • Co-editor, THE CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY OF BIOETHICS (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming) (co-edited with Laurence McCullough and Robert Baker) (forthcoming)

Selected Achievements

  • Associate Dean Alicia Ouellette was a guest blogger for the HealthLawProf Blog, writing several posts, including "Legal Issue or Culture War: Conversion Therapy in the Courts and Beyond" and, with 3L Meredith Dedopoulos, "The World Cup and Health: If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Don’t Play in Manaus."
  • Professor Alicia Ouellette, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Intellectual Life, presented her paper "Selecting Against Disability" at the conference "Intersections in Reproduction: Perspectives on Abortion, Assisted Reproductive Technologies, and Judicial Review" held at Yale Law School on April 17, 2014.

  • Associate Dean Alicia Ouellette has been appointed the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Intellectual Life, effective July 1, 2013. She will oversee all the major academic operations of the law school, including strengthening and direction of the curriculum; academic programs; compliance with the ABA, AALS and other regulatory agencies; and faculty assignments. She will continue to support faculty in their scholarship production, teaching strategies and service activities.
  • Associate Dean Alicia Ouellette participated in an invitation-only workshop series on "Making Sense of Abortion and Assisted Reproduction" at Rutgers School of Law in Camden, N.J., on April 5, 2013.

  • Associate Dean Alicia Ouellette, with Professor Mary Lynch, presented on the legal obligations of medical professionals when confronted with interpersonal violence at Albany Medical College on Jan. 10, 2013.
  • Associate Dean Alicia Ouellette delivered a presentation at the symposium "Freedom of Choice at the End of Life: Patients' Rights in a Shifting Legal and Political Landscape" at New York Law School on Nov. 16, 2012.

  • Associate Dean Alicia Ouellette delivered a talk on health care reform and another on her book Bioethics and Disability at the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Also, an excerpt from her article "Shaping Parental Authority over Children’s Bodies" will be reproduced in Bioethics and the Law, Third Edition (Aspen 2013) by Lois Shepherd and Janice Dolgin.​​
  • Professor Ouellette presented a paper on sexual-orientation conversion therapies at the Health Law Professors Conference at Hastings Law School.
  • Professor Ouellette presented on disability-based selection and moderated a panel on constitutional law at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Conference.
  • Professor Ouellette completed a stint as a guest blogger at healthlawprof.blog.

In the News

  • ​Dean Alicia Ouellette was profiled in "10 minutes with Alicia Ouellette: Once a student, now acting dean" by the Albany Business Review on Oct. 31, 2014.

  • ​"Not everyone graduates law school and goes to a firm anymore," says Ouellette, who has worked at the law school for about 13 years, most recently as associate dean for academic affairs and intellectual life. "Some students do and we are absolutely going to make sure the students who go to firms have the tools they need. But a student who wants to do, say health care compliance work, has to have different skills than a student who wants to do criminal law."

    From the article "What lies ahead for Albany Law's acting dean?" in the Albany Business Review on Oct. 23, 2014.

  • There was one other constitutional junkie at the table Thursday morning. Alicia Ouellette, an Albany Law School professor and Union Graduate College professor of bioethics, said that in terms of health reform and the implementation of the ACA, Thursday’s ruling largely left political questions, not legal ones.

    In fact, she said Chief Justice John Roberts found a way to show respect for the legislative process with what she believes was a last-minute change of opinion.

    “What Roberts did was he righted the Roberts court in a way that gives the court integrity,” she said, “and he showed judicial restraint so that the legislative process can do what it needs to do.”

    From the article "Experts unsure of health care's future" in the Schenectady, N.Y., Daily Gazette on June 30.

  • At Albany Law School, 200 students have completed about 2,000 hours of uncompensated legal work this year, according to Alicia Ouellette, the school's associate dean for student affairs.

    "We're pretty well situated to expand our program" to help students meet the new requirement, she said in an interview.

    From the article " Lippman announces pro bono requirement for prospective attorneys" by Thomson Reuters News & Insight on May 1.

  • "The initiative really dovetails with what we are doing," said Alicia Ouellette, associate dean for student affairs and a law professor at Albany Law School, where about 200 of the school's 725 students currently volunteer pro bono services. "Mandating it takes it a step further," she added. "We're going to have to think about how to expand the program."

    Albany Law offers a range of pro bono services for low- and moderate-income groups such as veterans, seniors, inmates being released from prison and Iraqi refugees.

    The students work under the supervision of lawyers already admitted to the bar.

    Many of the students put in more than 50 hours during their school careers, added Danshera Cords, a law professor who helps oversee a program where students help low-income filers prepare their income tax returns.

    "It teaches students that as they go out into the world, it's important that they give back," said Cords.

    From the article "New lawyers to give needy free legal help" in the Albany Times Union on May 1.