Lois Shepherd

Lois Shepherd

Peter A. Wallenborn, Jr. and Dolly F. Wallenborn Professor of Biomedical Ethics
Professor of Public Health Sciences; Professor of Law
Lois Shepherd
J.D., Yale Law School, 1987
B.A., University of North Carolina, 1984

Lois Shepherd is the Wallenborn Professor of Biomedical Ethics at the School of Medicine’s Center for Health Humanities and Ethics and a Professor of Law and Public Health Sciences. She is an expert in the fields of health law and bioethics. Joining the faculty of the University of Virginia in 2008, she has a primary appointment in the School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences and a secondary appointment in the School of Law. She is based in the Center for Health Humanities and Ethics, where she directs the Center’s programs in medicine and law and is a co-director of Studies in Reproductive Ethics and Justice.

Professor Shepherd’s scholarly and teaching interests focus on legal and ethical issues in reproduction, at the end of life, human subjects research, organ transplantation, disability, professionalism, and theoretical foundations of bioethics. In 2021 she was appointed to the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP) and in 2023 became a member of the Ethics Committee of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network .

She is the co-author of a leading legal bioethics casebook, Bioethics and the Law (Wolters Kluwer), now in its fifth edition (2019) and the author of If That Ever Happens to Me: Making Life and Death Decisions After Terri Schiavo (UNC Press, 2008). She regularly publishes in law reviews, medical journals, and bioethics journals. Recent work appears in the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, the American Journal of Bioethics, the Hastings Center Report, and Bioethics. In 2018, Professor Shepherd became a Public Voices fellow with the Op-Ed Project, and has published op-eds in numerous popular media outlets.

Recent courses include, among others: Bioethics and the Law (law), Reproductive Ethics and Law (combining law, medical, and graduate nursing students), Topics in Law, Medicine, and Society, and a graduate level internship in Bioethics: Health Policy and Administration. She also contributes to the Medical School’s Undergraduate Medical Education.

Shepherd has served on the UVA Health System’s ethics committee and institutional review board for over a decade. In 2013-2015, she chaired a University task force on non-tenure track faculty that led to the implementation of major policy reforms relating to career advancement, job security, and status for the General Faculty at UVA.

After receiving her law degree from Yale University, where she served as a senior editor of the Yale Law Journal, Shepherd practiced corporate law for six years with the Charlotte, N.C., firm of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A. She began her academic career in 1993 at the Florida State University College of Law. Prior to joining the UVA faculty, Shepherd was the Florida Bar Health Law Section Professor and D’Alemberte Professor of Law at Florida State.

Curriculum Vitae

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Shepherd, L., Chen, “D.T., Medical Research Without Consent?  It’s Like Dé Jà Vu All Over Again,” 99 Indiana Law Journal __ (forthcoming 2024).

Macklin, R., “Erosion of Informed Consent in U.S. Research,” Bioethics 2018: 1-9.

Monfared, L., Shepherd, L. “Organ Procurement Now:  Does the U.S. Still Opt In?”  2017 University of Illinois Law Review 1003.

Shepherd, L. “Informed Consent for Comparative Effectiveness Research Should Include Risks of Standard Care,” 45 Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 352 (2017).

Shepherd, L. The End of End-Life Law, 92 North Carolina Law Review 1693 (2014).

Shepherd, L. “The Hair Stylist, the Corn Merchant, and the Doctor:  Ambiguously Altruistic,” Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 2014; 42(4): 509-517.

Macklin R., Shepherd L. “Informed Consent and Standard of Care: What Must Be Disclosed,” American Journal of Bioethics, 2013; 13(12): 9-13 (target article).

Shepherd, L.. Mohrmann, M. Welcome, Healing, and Ethics. 50 Wake Forest Law Review 259 (2015).

Many of Professor Shepherd’s papers can be accessed on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) at: