Photo: Robert Schwartz

Robert Schwartz

  • Regent and Professor of Law

Professor Emeritus


  • B.A. 1970, Stanford University
  • J.D. 1975, Harvard University
  • Member of the American Samoan, New Mexico and New York Bars

Contact Information

 Ph.: 505-277-3119
 Office: 3215


Shortly after joining the UNM law faculty in 1976, Rob Schwartz began to focus his research and teaching in the emerging field of Health Law. He has gone on to become a nationally recognized scholar in the area of Bioethics and brings this expertise to his classes at both the law school and the UNM School of Medicine, where he also teaches. Though he is emeritus status, he regularly teaches half-time at the law school, including courses in torts and health law, among others.

Schwartz began his career as a legal research associate with the High Court of American Samoa. He worked as an associate with the Albuquerque firm of Rodey, Dickason, Sloan, Akin & Robb before joining the UNM law faculty.

Schwartz is one of five authors of "Health Law: Cases, Materials and Problems," the first textbook that treated Health Law as a subject when it was first published in 1987. Now in its fourth edition, it is the leading Health Law textbook in the country. He contributed chapters that address Bioethics. He also has written "Treatise on Health Law," a two-volume textbook published in 1995 and is co-editor of a volume of Health Law statutes that was published in 2003. Most recently, his writing is in the areas of end-of-life care, death and dying, managed care and the application of civil liberties principles to the health care enterprise.

Schwartz serves on the editorial boards of the "Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics," Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy" and the "Medical Law Review." Through the World Health Organization, he has worked as a consultant on health legislation in Cambodia, Tonga and Vietnam.


Courses Previously Taught

  • Bioethics
  • Children's Health Law and Policy
  • Community Lawyering Clinic
  • Civil Procedure I
  • Health Law
  • Health Law Ethics & Policy
  • Introduction to Constitutional Law
  • Practicum
  • Torts


Books & Book Chapters

Bioethics: Health Care Law and Ethics (8th ed. 2018) (co-authored with Furrow, Greaney, Johnson, & Jost).
Available at: UNM-DR

Bioethics and Law in a Nutshell (2009).
Available at: UNM-DR

How Law and Regulation Shape Managed Care, The Law and Ethics of Managed Care (D. Bennahum ed., 2000).

Treatise on Health Law (2nd ed. 2000) (co-authored with Furrow, Greaney, Johnson, & Jost).
Available at: UNM-DR

Abridged version published in Hornbook Series (3rd ed. 2015).
Available at: UNM-DR

International Encyclopedia of Laws: Medical Law (United States) (2nd ed. 1998) (co-authored with Furrow, Greaney, Johnson, & Jost).
Available at: UNM-DR

Health Law: Cases, Materials and Problems (7th ed. 2013) (co-authored with Furrow, Greaney, Johnson, & Jost).
Available at: UNM-DR & Supplement & Teacher's Manual

Health Law: Selected Statutes and Regulations (2003) (co-authored with Thomas Greaney).
Available at: UNM-DR

The Law of Health Care Organizations and Finance (3rd ed. 1997; Supp. 1999) (co-authored with Furrow, Greaney, Johnson, & Jost).
Available at: UNM-DR

Liability and Quality Issues in Health Care (3rd ed. 1997; Supp. 1999) (co-authored with Furrow, Greaney, Johnson, & Jost).
Available at: UNM-DR

Genetic Knowledge: Ethical and Legal Issues, Birth to Death: Science and Bioethics (T. Kushner & D. Thomasma eds., 1996).
Available at: UNM-DR

Life Style, Health Status and Distributive Justice, Justice and Health Care: A Comparative Perspective (A. Grubb & M. Mehlman eds., 1995).
Available at: UNM-DR

Neonatology: Ethical and Legal Considerations, Schaffer and Avery's Diseases of the Newborn (Avery et al. eds., 6th ed. 1991) (co-authored with Gibson).
Available at: UNM-DR

Guardian Angels, Ethical Issues in Everyday Life of Nursing Home Residents (Caplan & Kane eds., 1989).
Available at: UNM-DR

Legal Issues in Geriatric Medicine, Geriatric Medicine (Cassel & Walsh eds., 1984) (co-authored with others).

Implications of the Constitutional Right of Privacy for the Control of Drugs: An Introduction, Feeling Good and Doing Better: Ethics and Nontherapeutic Druge Use (Murray et al. eds., 1984).
Available at: UNM-DR


Funding the Costs of Disease Outbreaks Caused by Non Vaccination, 43 J.L. MED. & ETHICS 633 (2015).
Available at: UNM-DR

End-Of-Life Care: Doctors' Complaints and Legal Restraints, 53 ST. LOUIS U. L.J. 1155 (2009).
Available at: UNM-DR

The Ethical Health Lawyer: When Doing the Right Thing Means Breaking the Law–What is the Role of the Health Lawyer? 34 J.L. MED. & ETHICS 624 (2006).
Available at: UNM-DR

Where Is Health Law Going?: Follow the Money, 14 HEALTH MATRIX 219 (2004).
Available at: UNM-DR

Physician-Assisted Suicide, 6 ANNALS LONG TERM CARE 71 (1998).

Bioethics Policy: Looking Beyond the Power of the Sovereign Governments (Foreword), 33 HOUS. L. REV. 1283 (1997).
Available at: UNM-DR

The Role of Institutional and Community Based Ethics Committees in the Debate on Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide, 5.1 CAMB. Q. HEALTHCARE ETHICS 121 (Winter 1996) (co-authored with Kushner).

Ethics Committees at Work: Physician Experience as a Measure of Competency: Impactions for Informed Consent, 5.3 CAMB. Q. HEALTHCARE ETHICS 458 (Summer 1996).

Rights of the Terminally Ill Act of the Australian Northern Territory, 5.1 CAMB. Q. HEALTHCARE ETHICS 157 (Winter 1996).

The Caduceus in Court: Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in The Netherlands, 4.1 CAMB. Q. HEALTHCARE ETHICS 111 (Winter 1995).

Multiculturalism, Medicine, and the Limits of Autonomy: The Practice of Female Circumcision, 3.3 CAMB. Q. HEALTHCARE ETHICS 431 (Summer 1994).

Ethics Committees at Work, 3.2 CAMB. Q. HEALTHCARE ETHICS 270 (Spring 1994) (co-authored with Marcy Luedtke).

Malpractice Liability for the Failure to Adequately Educate Patients: The Australian Law of 'Informed Consent' and its Implications for American Ethics Committees, 2.3 CAMB. Q. HEALTHCARE ETHICS 371 (Summer 1993).

Rogers v. Whitaker and Informed Consent in Australia: A Fair Dinkum Duty of Disclosure, 1.2 MED. L. REV. 139 (Summer 1993) (co-authored with Don Chalmers).

Life Style, Health Status, and Distributive Justice, 3 HEALTH MATRIX 195 (1993).
Available at: UNM-DR

Making Patients Pay for their Lifestyle Choices, 1.4 CAMB. Q. HEALTHCARE ETHICS 393 (Fall 1992).

Autonomy, Futility, and the Wanglie Case, 1 CAMB. Q. HEALTHCARE ETHICS 159 (Spring 1992).

Everything You Always Wanted to Ask a Lawyer About Ethics Committees, 1.1 CAMB. Q. HEALTHCARE ETHICS 33 (Winter 1992) (co-authored with Cohen, Hartz & Shapiro).

Assessment of Ethical Decisions and Values, 26 MED. ED. 7 (1992) (co-authored).

Medicaid Reform through Setting Health Care Priorities, 35 ST. LOUIS U. L.J. 837 (1991).
Available at: UNM-DR

Professional Decisions and Ethical Values in Medical and Law Students, 65.9 ACAD. MED. 531 (September 1990) (co-authored with Rezler, Lambert, Obenshain, McIver Gibson & Bennahum).
Available at: UNM-DR

Euthanasia and the Right to Die, 20 N.M. L. REV. 675 (1990).
Available at: NMLR

There is No Archbishop of Science: Screening Scientific Evidence, 69 B.U.L. REV. 517 (1989) (originally presented to the Yale Law School Program in Civil Liability).
Available at: UNM-DR

Setting Limits on Autonomy: Saving Money in an Aging Society, 33 ST. LOUIS U. L.J. 617 (1989).
Available at: UNM-DR

Informed Consent to Participation in Medical Research Employing Elderly Human Subjects, 1 J. CONTEMP. HEALTH L. & POL'Y 115 (1985).
Available at: UNM-DR

Institutional Review of Medical Research: Cost-Benefit Analysis, Risk-Benefit Analysis, and the Possible Effect of Research on Public Policy, 4 J. LEG. MED. 143 (1983).
Available at: UNM-DR

Judicial Deflection of Scientific Questions: Pushing Laetrile Towards Medical Closure, 13 N.M. L. REV. 119 (1983).
Available at: NMLR

Mobile Homes?--Public and Private Controls, 29 WAYNE L REV. 177 (1983).
Available at: UNM-DR

Teaching Physicians and Lawyers to Understand Each Other: The Development of a Law and Medicine Clinic, 2. J. LEG. MED. 131 (1981).
Available at: UNM-DR

Delimiting Religion and Ethics, 11/208 SH'MA, A J. OF JEWISH RESPONSIBILITY 60 (1981).
Available at: UNM-DR

Defining the Role of the Physician: Medical Education, Tradition, and the Legal Process, 18 HOUS. L. REV. 779 (1980) (co-authored with Joan Gibson).
Available at: UNM-DR

Physicians and Lawyers: Science, Art and Conflict, 6 AM. J. L. & MED. 173 (1980) (co-authored with Gibson).
Available at: UNM-DR

Polynesian Intercultural Law Enforcement Study, 3 SAM. PAC. L.J. 157 (1974).

Status of American Samoa, 2 SAM. PAC. L.J. 157 (1974).

The Community Development Corporation, 10 B.C. L. REV. 217 (1969).
Available at: UNM-DR

Bar & Trade Publications

From Informed Consent to Frozen Embryos: Health Law Enters the 1990s, 29 N.M. B. BULL. (8) (Supp.) 1 (1990).

When Can the Government Issue a Retroactive Medicare Reimbursement Rule? A Preview of Bowen v. Georgetown University Hospital, 88-89 SUP. CT. PREVIEW 38 (1988).
Available at: UNM-DR

When Must a Hospital Challenge the Medicare Reimbursement Policy? A Preview of Bethesda Hospital Association v. Bowen, 87-88 SUP. CT. PREVIEW 272 (1988).
Available at: UNM-DR

Laetrile: The Battle Moves into the Courtroom, 65 ABA J. 224 (1979).
Available at: UNM-DR

Laetrile: The Battle Moves Into the Courtroom, 65 A.B.A. J. 224 (1979).

Elected Offices of the Executive Branch, THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF N.M. ST. GOV'T (Appendix B, 1976).


The Law and Managed Care: Why Doctors and Lawyers Are Suddenly Friends, UNM LAW 18 (Winter 1999).

In the Trenches: Facing Fallibility and Feelings (Response), MAKING THE ROUNDS IN HEALTH, FAITH AND ETHICS 7 (February 12, 1996).

New Age Ethics, MIRAGE, Fall 1990, at 10.

Why Britain Cannot Afford Informed Consent, 15.4 HASTINGS CENTER REP. 19 (1985).

Legal Aspects of Research upon Elderly Human Subjects, WORLD CONGRESS OF L. & MED. (New Delhi, 1985).

Are the Medical Arts Keeping Up with Legal Science?, 28 J. IRREPRODUCIBLE RESULTS 6 (1982).

Ethical and Legal Concerns in Experimentation with Psychopharmacologic Drugs in the Elderly, 17 PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY BULL. 64 (1981).

Yin, Yang, and the Right to Privacy: The Acupuncture Challenge to Physician Control of Health Care, 11.2 HASTINGS CENTER REP. 5 (1981).

A Note or Two on Arnstein v. Porter [videotape] (1978) (includes accompanying edited version of the Second Circuit record).

Book Reviews

Medical Research with Children: Ethics, Law and Practice (1987), 1 MED. HUMANITIES REV. 52 (1987).

Popular Press

'Off with their heads’ won’t make ABQ safer, ALBUQUERQUE J. (June 10, 2019)
Available at: UNM-DR


Brief for American Association on Mental Retardation et al. as Amicus Curiae, Tennard v. Dretke, No. 02-10038 (Oct. 14, 2003) (consolidated for oral arguments with Smith v. Dretke, No. 02-11309) (certiorari granted) (co-counsel with Norman C. Bay, Michael B. Browde, Christian G. Fritz, April Land & James Ellis).
Available at: UNM-DR


Why Britain Cannot Afford Informed Consent, 15 HASTINGS CENTER REP. 19 (No. 4, 1985),

Republished: 89 CHICAGO MED. 588 (No. 13, Part I 1986)

Republished: 89 CHICAGO MED. 656 (No. 14, Part II 1986) (co-authored with Grubb).

Legal Aspects of Research upon Elderly Human Subjects, WORLD CONGRESS OF L. & MED. (New Delhi, 1985).

Republished: 1 J. CONTEMP. HEALTH L. & POL'Y 115 (1985).

Yin, Yang, and the Right to Privacy: The Acupuncture Challenge to Physician Control of Health Care, 11.2 HASTINGS CENTER REP. 5 (1981).

Republished: 9 AM. J. ACUPUNCTURE 197 (1981).

Law School News