O. Carter Snead
William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the Center for Ethics and CultureProfessor of Law
Professor Carter Snead joined the faculty in 2005. His principal area of research is Public Bioethics – the governance of science, medicine, and biotechnology in the name of ethical goods. His scholarly works have explored issues relating to neuroethics, enhancement, stem cell research, abortion, and end-of-life decisionmaking. His articles appear in such publications as the New York University Law Review, the Harvard Law Review Forum, the Vanderbilt Law Review, Constitutional Commentary, Quaderni Costituzionali, the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law and Ethics, the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, and Political Science Quarterly. Professor Snead teaches Law & Bioethics, Health Law, Torts, and Constitutional Criminal Procedure.
In addition to his scholarship and teaching, Professor Snead has provided advice on the legal and public policy dimensions of bioethical questions to officials in all three branches of the U.S. government, and in several intergovernmental fora. Prior to joining the law faculty at Notre Dame, Professor Snead served as General Counsel to The President’s Council on Bioethics (Chaired by Dr. Leon R. Kass), where he was the primary drafter of the 2004 report, “Reproduction and Responsibility: The Regulation of New Biotechnologies.” In 2006, he testified in the U.S. House of Representatives on regulatory questions concerning RU-486 (the abortion pill). From 2004 to 2005, Professor Snead led the U.S. government delegation and served as its chief negotiator for the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (adopted in October 2005). He served (along with Dr. Edmund Pellegrino) as U.S. government’s Permanent Observer to the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI), where he assisted in its efforts to elaborate international instruments and standards for the ethical governance of science and medicine. In conjunction with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), he regularly lectures to state and federal judges on the uses of neuroimaging in the courtroom. He was recently appointed by the Director-General of UNESCO to a four-year term on the International Bioethics Committee (IBC), a 36-member body of independent experts that advises member states on bioethics, law, and public policy. The IBC is the only bioethics commission in the world with a global mandate.
Professor Snead received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University (where he was elected to the Order of the Coif), and his B.A. from St. John’s College (Annapolis, MD). He clerked for the Hon. Paul J. Kelly, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Courses TaughtLAW60901, Torts
LAW70359, Constitutional Criminal Procedure
LAW70914, Health Law
LAW73828, Bioethics and the Law Seminar
PUBLIC BIOETHICS, THE CONSTITUTION, AND THE PROBLEM OF MEMBERSHIP (manuscript-in-progress)
Memory and Punishment, 64 VANDERBILT LAW REVIEW 1195 (2011).
Science, Public Bioethics, and the Problem of Integration, 43 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS LAW REVIEW 1529-1604 (2010).
Response to Nicholas Boyle's 'God, Sex, and America: The Decline of the Common Morality, Power, and the Emergence of a Global Ethical Life,' 3 JOURNAL OF LAW, PHILOSOPHY, AND CULTURE 273-276 (2009) (peer reviewed symposium issue).
Public Bioethics and the Bush Presidency, 32 HARV. J. OF L. & PUB. POL. 867 (2009).
Unenumerated Rights and the Limits of Analogy: A Critique of the Right to Medical Self-Defense, 121 Harv. L. Rev. F. 1-12 (2007). (invited response to Eugene Volokh, _Medical Self-Defense, Prohibited Experimental Therapies, and Payment for Organs_, 120 Harvard L. Rev. 813 (2007).)
Neuroimaging and the 'Complexity' of Capital Punishment, 82 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1265-1339 (2007).
The (Suprising) Truth about Schiavo: A Defeat for the Cause of Autonomy, 22 Const. Comm. 101 (2005) (reprinted in Joseph W. Koterski, S.J. (ed.), Life and Learning XVI (2006)).
The Patentability of Human Embryos in the U.S. and E.U.: A Comparative Perspective (with Professor Jean-Rene Binet, Professeur de Droit Prive A l'Universite de Franche-Comte, et Membre de l'Institut Universitaire de France Faculte de Droit) (2012)(in progress)
The Law and Policy of Embryo Research in America, HUMAN REPRODUCTION AND GENETIC ETHICS (Equinox 2012)(peer reviewed UK journal)(in press).
The Limits of Federal Funding for Embryo Research in America: A Recent Conflict, __ QUADERNI COSTITUZIONALI __ (2012) (in draft).
Persone incapaci e decisioni di fine vita (con uno sguardo oltreoceano)(Incapacitated Persons and End of Life Decisionmaking (with an Across-the-Ocean View)), 1 QUADERNI COSTITUZIONALI 7-34 (2010) (with Andrea Simoncini) (peer reviewed).
Il finanziamento delle ricerche sulle cellule staminali in Europa e negli USA (A Comparative Analysis of E.U. and U.S. Funding Policies for Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Details, Aims, and Effects), 4 Quaderni Costituzionali 834 (2006) (translated from English to Italian by Prof. Stefania Ninatti) )
The Pedagogical Significance of the Bush Stem Cell Policy: A Window into the Nature of Bioethical Regulation in the U.S., 5 Yale J. Health Pol'y, L. & Ethics 491 (2005) (peer reviewed) (invited submission) (reprinted in Judith F. Daar, Reproductive Technologies and the Law (Lexis 2005)).
Dynamic Complementarity: Terri's Law and Separation of Powers Principles in the End-of-Life Context, 57 Fla. L. Rev. 53 (2005).
Preparing the Groundwork for a Responsible Debate on Stem Cell Research and Cloning, 39 New Eng. L. Rev. 701 (2005) (Keynote address for 2004 Symposium, 'Bioethics: The Current Stem Cell Research Debate') (to be reprinted in Anila V. Menon, Legal and Ethical Aspects of Cloning (ICFAI Books 2006)).
Federal Criminal Conspiracy, 35 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 739 (1998) (Co-Author).
Chapters in Books
Autonomy and Individual Responsibility, in HENK TEN HAVE & BERD GORDIJN, EDS., COMPENDIUM OF GLOBAL BIOETHICS (SPRINGER 2013) (in press).
Neuroimaging and Capital Punishment in JAMES GIORDANO, ED., NEUROSCIENCE, NEUROTECHNOLOGY AND NEUROETHICS: AT THE INTERSECTION OF SCIENCE, SOCIETY AND MORALITY (CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS 2012)(forthcoming).
Human Dignity in U.S. Law, in THE CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS HANDBOOK ON HUMAN DIGNITY (Roger Brownsword, ed.) (Cambridge University Press 2011) (invited contribution) (peer reviewed) (in press).
Human Dignity in American Public Bioethics in HUMAN DIGNITY IN BIOETHICS: FROM WORLDVIEWS TO THE PUBLIC SQUARE (Stephen C. Dilley & Nathan J. Palpant, eds.) (Routledge 2012) (invited contribution) (peer reviewed).
Cognitive Neuroscience and the Future of Punishment, in CONSTITUTION 3.0: FREEDOM AND TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE, PP. 130-155 (Jeffrey Rosen & Benjamin Wittes, eds.) (Brookings Press 2011) (invited contribution) (peer reviewed).
Bioetica Pubblica e Incommensurabilita, ATLANTIDE, ANNO VIII, NUMERO 26, 2/2012 (peer reviewed).
Bioethics and Self-Governance: The Lessons of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, JOURNAL OF MEDICINE AND PHILOSOPHY, 34: 204-222 (2009) (invited contribution to symposium issue) (peer reviewed).
A Review of Helena Silverstein's HOW COURTS FAIL PREGNANT MINORS (NYU Press 2007), 123 POLITICAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY 343-345 (Summer 2008) (invited book review) (peer reviewed).
Neuroimaging and Capital Punishment, 19 THE NEW ATLANTIS: A JOURNAL OF TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY 35 (2008).
Neuroimaging, Entrapment, and the Predisposition to Crime, 7 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF BIOETHICS 60-61 (2007) (invited Peer Commentary) (peer reviewed).
Assessing UNESCO's Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, 7 NATIONAL CATHOLIC BIOETHICS QUARTERLY 53-71 (Spring 2007) (invited essay) (peer reviewed).
Technology and the Constitution,: 5 The New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology and Society 61 (Spring 2004) (invited essay).
Religious Liberty and the Obama Administration, FIRST THINGS, March 2012 (invited essay).
Conscience, Coercion, and Healthcare, PUBLIC DISCOURSE, September 26, 2011 (with Helen Alvare and Gerard V. Bradley) (invited essay).
Protect the Weak and Vulnerable: The Primacy of the Life Issue, PUBLIC DISCOURSE, August 22, 2011 (invited essay).
President Obama's Support for Abortion Rights Abroad, FEDERALIST SOCIETY NEW FEDERAL INITIATIVES PROJECT, April 23, 2009 (invited white paper)
Embryonic Stem Cell Research, FEDERALIST SOCIETY NEW FEDERAL INITIATIVES PROJECT, May 19, 2010 (invited white paper)
Una Costituzione Bioetica?, IL SOLE 24 ORE, January 13, 2013
Op-Ed, Planned Parenthood’s Hostages, WALL STREET JOURNAL, February 6, 2012 (with Robert P. George).
Op-Ed, Respect for Ethics Enabled Stem Cell Coup, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, Monday, December 3, 2007, 22 (on new technique for derivation of non-embryonic pluripotent cells).
Op-Ed, Bush Sticks to Principles, Limits Government's Role, INDIANAPOLIS STAR, July 24, 2006 (on the veto of a bill seeking to modify the federal funding policy for embryonic stem cell research).
Areas of Expertise
- Constitutional Criminal Procedure
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Law & Procedure
- Law & Medicine
- Law & Science
In the NewsND Expert: Creation, destruction of cloned human embryos an "injustice" - May 16, 2013
ND Expert: Justice served in life sentence for Gosnell - May 15, 2013
Abortion doctor convicted of murder waives appeal, avoids death sentence (Quotes: O. Carter Snead) - CNN, May 15, 2013
Why Did Notre Dame End Donations to the Fund to Protect Human Life? - Life News (Opinion by O. Carter Snead), March 11, 2013
Panelist on session entitled, "Can Politics be Hospitable to Life?", part of the 2013 National Review Institute the “Future of Conservatism” summit. Video (40 minutes) - C-Span - January 25, 2013
Una Costituzione bioetica? Il Sole 24 Ore (By: O.Carter Snead) - January 13, 2013
Conference explores virtue of justice in Catholic moral tradition Today's Catholic News - November 27, 2012
Catholic institutions sue government, CNN with Soledad O’Brien, May 22, 2012
The abortion issue comes back to life – The Globe and Mail (Canada), March 26, 2010 (Quotes: O. Carter Snead, Associate Professor of Law)
Prof. Snead on BBC addressing politics of abortion – January 29, 2010
NDExpert: Law school’s Snead says embryonic decision abandons moral neutrality – March 9, 2009
NDExpert: Law School Professor Snead dismayed by President Obama’s abortion funding decision – January 26, 2009
NDExpert: ND Law School professor Snead praises Vatican bioethics document as "eminently reasonable" – December 16, 2008
Law professor Snead to speak at neurotics meeting – October 27, 2008