B.A., Northwestern University J.D., Cornell Law School
Professor Evelyn M. Tenenbaum is a graduate of Northwestern University and Cornell Law School. She served in the Attorney General's office as a Section Chief and Assistant Solicitor General and was a consultant to the New York State Department of Health. Specializing in health law, she is currently also a Professor of Bioethics at Albany Medical College and has published widely in the areas of health law, bioethics and civil rights.
Professor Tenenbaum has extensive experience handling and supervising health care litigation. She has successfully handled dozens of cases in the federal and state courts, both at the trial level and on appeal. Her high-profile health policy cases cover areas including mandatory testing for AIDS, guidelines for office-based surgery, state sick-leave policies, the constitutionality of closing bathhouses, and reproductive policies at Catholic hospitals. She was the lead attorney in a class action involving the Social Security Administration's over-reliance on the treadmill exercise test and won class-wide relief entitling class members to disability benefits totaling more than $65 million and saving New York's state and local governments approximately $11 million per year.
Professor Tenenbaum has also handled and supervised dozens of civil rights cases. Her high-profile civil rights cases include a landmark decision upholding the constitutionality of applying the State Labor Relations Act to lay teachers at Catholic Schools.
She serves on the Ethics Review Committee at Albany Medical Center and is the faculty advisor to the law school's Domenick L. Gabrielli National Family Moot Court Competition.
Cooke Center for Learning and Development v. Mills, 19 A.D.3d 834, 797 N.Y.S.2d 173 (3d Dep't 2005). Upheld as rational Dept. of Education's interpretation of its regulations to mandate that disabled school children be educated, if possible, in their local public schools.
New York State Ass'n of Nurse Anesthetists v. Novello, 2 N.Y.2d 207, 810 N.E.2d 405, 778 N.Y.S.2d 123 (2004).Successfully defended Dept. of Health Guidelines for Office Based Surgery against claim that they would operate as regulations and therefore were not lawfully promulgated.
Madison-Oneida Board of Coop. Educ. Servs. v. Mills, 4 N.Y.3d 51, 823 N.E.2d 1265, 790 N.Y.S.2d 619 (2004).Upheld the Commissioner of Education's interpretation of the Education Law to give seniority protection to tenured teaching assistants.
New York State Ass'n of Cemeteries, Inc. v. Fishman, 2004 WL 2712405 (2d Cir. 2004). Upheld constitutionality of state statute prohibiting combinations of for-profit funeral entities and not-for-profit cemeteries to protect the long-term viability of the cemeteries and to protect consumers from unfair practices.
Employment Relations Board v. Christ the King Reg'l High School, 217 A.D.2d 701, 630 N.Y.S.2d 333 (2d Dep't 1995).Upheld the constitutionality of applying the State Labor Relations Act to the lay teachers at church-affiliated schools.
New York State Society of Surgeons v. Axelrod, 77 N.Y.2d 677, 572 N.E.2d 605, 569 N.Y.S.2d 922 (1991).Upheld the Commissioner of Health's decision not to add HIV infection to the lists of communicable and sexually transmissible diseases and, thereby, not to have mandatory testing or contact tracing for HIV infection.
State of New York v. Sullivan, 906 F.2d 910 (2d Cir. 1990).Affirmative class action invalidating the Social Security Administration's policy of relying exclusively on the treadmill exercise test in determining disability due to ischemic heart disease. Class-wide relief was granted entitling class members to retroactive disability benefits totaling more than $65 million and saving New York's state and local governments approximately $11 million per year.
Mullen v. Axelrod, 74 N.Y.2d 580, 549 N.E.2d 144, 549 N.Y.S.2d 953 (1989).Upheld the Commissioner of Health's discretion to determine whether to proceed with disciplinary action against nursing home employees.
City of New York v. New St. Mark's Baths, 122 A.D.2d 747, 505 N.Y.S.2d 1015 (1st Dep't 1986),appeal dismissed, 70 N.Y.2d 693, 512 N.E.2d 555, 518 N.Y.S.2d 1029 (1987).Upheld the constitutionality of the state health regulation authorizing the closure of establishments where "high risk sexual activity" is taking place.
Catholic High School Ass'n v. Culvert, 753 F.2d 1161 (2d Cir. 1985).Landmark decision upholding the constitutionality of applying the State Labor Relations Act to lay teachers at church-operated schools.
General Camera Corp. v. Urban Dev. Corp., 734 F.2d 468 (2d Cir. 1984).Upheld granting attorney's fees to the state under 42 U.S.C. Section 1988 for having to defend frivolous lawsuits.
Sheepshead Nursing Home v. Heckler, 595 F. Supp. 992 (S.D.N.Y. 1984).Upheld the termination of Medicaid and Medicare payments to a nursing home based on the inadequate care and treatment given to the patients.
New York State Optometric Ass'n v. Blum, 92 A.D.2d 526, 460 N.Y.S.2d 482 (1st Dep't 1983).Dismissed Article 78 proceeding challenging fifteen year old Medicaid fee schedule applied to optometrists.
Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting, Inc. v. Palisades Interstate Park Comm'n, 84 A.D.2d 798, 444 N.Y.S.2d 161 (2d Dep't 1981).Upheld legality of deer hunt conducted for environmental reasons in Harriman State Park.
CURRENT ISSUES IN CONSTUTITIONAL LITIGATION, 2d ed. (Carolina Academic Press) (coauthor)
Revitalizing Informed Consent and Protecting Patient Autonomy: An Appeal to Abandon Objective Causation, 64 Oklahoma Law Review 697 (2012)papers.cfm
The Union of Contraceptive Services and the Affordable Care Act Gives Birth to First Amendment Concerns, 23 Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology 539 (2013)sitemanager.aspx
An Innovation in Continuing Medical Education: Online, Remedial Education for Physicians Following a Professional Violation or Incident, 18 NYSBA Health Law Journal 36 (Spring/Summer 2013) (with Dr. Wayne Shelton and Dr. Bruce White)
Sexual Expression and Intimacy Between Demented Nursing Home Residents: Balancing the Current Interests and Prior Values of Heterosexual and LGBT Residents, 21 Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review 459 (2012); excerpt in BIOETHICS AND THE LAW, Janet L. Dolgin and Lois L. Shepherd, 2d ed., at 636 (Aspen Publishing 2013)papers.cfm
Using Informed Consent to Reduce Preventable Medical Errors, 21 Annals of Health Law 11 (2012)papers.cfm
Chapter 14, Protecting Freedom of Religion in Prison: The Free Exercise Clause and RLUIPA in CURRENT ISSUES IN CONSTITUTIONAL LITIGATION (Carolina Academic Press, 2011)papers.cfm
Chapter 15, The Eleventh Amendment in CURRENT ISSUES IN CONSTITUTIONAL LITIGATION (Carolina Academic Press, 2011)
To Be or to Exist: Standards for Deciding Whether Dementia Patients in Nursing Homes Should Engage in Intimacy, Sex, and Adultery, 42 Indiana Law Review 675 (2009)papers.cfm
Memory-Altering Drugs: Shifting the Paradigm of Informed Consent, 7 The American Journal of Bioethics 40 (2007) (coauthor)papers.cfm
BODY WORLDS: Choosing to be Immortalized as an Educational Specimen, 7(4) The American Journal of Bioethics 38 (2007) (with Jenean M. Taranto)
The Application of Labor Relations and Discrimination Statutes to Lay Teachers at Religious Schools: The Establishment Clause and the Pretext Inquiry, 64 Albany Law Review 629 (2000)papers.cfm
Ethics in Long Term Care, in THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ADULTHOOD AND AGING (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) (forthcoming 2014)(with Gayle Doll, Director Center on Aging, Kansas State Univ.)
Professor Evelyn Tenenbaum participated in panel discussion at Albany
Medical College on March 25, 2015, following a screening of the Frontline
Documentary “Being Mortal.” The panel explored the relationships
that doctors have with patients who are nearing the end of life and discussed
crucial issues related to caring for the dying.
Evelyn Tenenbaum presented Legal and Ethical Issues Related to Paired Kidney Donation and Kidney Chains at Touro Law School.
Professor Evelyn Tenenbaum presented "Medicine and the Law" at Albany Medical College on Dec. 17, 2014.
Professor Evelyn Tenenbaum
presented “Mandatory Immunizations for Health Care Workers” to the Health Law
Society in November.
Professor Evelyn Tenenbaum delivered a talk on "Paired Kidney Donation and NEAD Chains: Issues and Solutions" at Western New England School of Law on March 25, 2014.
Professor Evelyn Tenenbaum presented "Medicine, Ethics and the Law" to second-year students at Albany Medical College in December 2012.
But even with a written policy, it's not that easy for nursing homes to figure out when consent to sex is really valid, says Evelyn Tenenbaum, a professor of law at Albany Law School and bioethics professor at Albany Medical College.
"For example, suppose you have a couple and the woman believes that the man she's seeing is her husband," says Tenenbaum. "Then she consents to a sexual relationship. Is that really consent if she doesn't understand who he is and that she's not married to him?"
Sometimes in such cases, nursing homes will defer to the wishes of the resident's family, says Tenenbaum.
"On the other hand, nursing homes are required to take care of the psychosocial needs of their residents," says Tenenbaum. "Whether psychosocial needs would include sexual relationships is a question."
From a piece on "Can A Person With Dementia Consent To Sex?" for NPR's All Things Considered on April 22, 2015.
Professor Evelyn Tenenbaum's approach to her courses was highlighted in the ABA's January Student Lawyer magazine. For several paragraphs, the piece talked about her requirement for students to arrange for five field trips in the Applied Health Law Policy course.