Professor Adam Kolber writes and teaches in the areas of health law, bioethics, and neuroethics and is the founder of the Neuroethics & Law Blog.
In his forthcoming article to be published in the Emory Law Journal, Professor Kolber argues that pain, suffering, anxiety, and other experiences are fundamentally important to civil and criminal law. Despite their importance, we have limited ability to measure experiences, even though legal proceedings turn on such measurements every day. Fortunately, technological advances in neuroscience are improving our ability to measure experiences and will do so more dramatically in what he calls “the experiential future.” In this article, he describes how new technologies will improve our assessments of physical pain, emotional distress, and a variety of psychiatric disorders.
In his recently published paper in the San Diego Law Review, he addresses the issues of freedom of conscience among health care workers and proposes a method to avoid differentiating between religious and nonreligious claims, at least in many contexts.
In a Slate news story his Columbia Law Review article, "The Subjective Experience of Punishment" is referenced. Professor Kolber argues that when two prisoners who have different temperaments commit crimes of equal blameworthiness and are given equal prison terms, they do not necessarily experience punishment in the same way. The more sensitive offenders receive harsher punishments than less sensitive offenders and he argues that it is a mistake to believe that both kinds of offenders receive punishments proportional to their desert.