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A course guide dedicated to Bioethics

Legislative History & Cases

Statutes and Legislative History

You can retrieve federal or state code sections easily if you have a citation from a secondary source or from a case. You can always search the code to find the sections. Another resource you can tap into are legal databases.

  • (2007-present) - This searchable database includes both federal and state laws, regulations, and policies related to genetics (stem cell research, cloning, employment discrimination, ect.).
  • National Conference of State Legislatures - Genetic Laws - A resource that links to state laws relating to frozen embryos, genetic privacy, human cloning, medical foods, newborn screening and stem cell research.
  • National Institute of Health (NIH)- Science Policy - The Office of Clinical Research and Bioethics Policy serves as the central place for planning, developing, and coordinating NIH-wide policy activities for clinical and health care research, as well as promoting full integration of bioethical considerations as foundational to NIH-supported research.


You may retrieve citations to case law from relevant journal articles or books (secondary sources) which usually discuss, analyze, and cite leading cases. Use the articles bibliographies to find other relevant cases and journal articles.

Another excellent source for finding legal cases are indexes. Indexes will include journal articles, book chapters, bills, laws, court decisions, reports, books, audiovisuals, and news articles relating to specific identified subject matter. Some excellent bioethics indexes are:

  • BELIT (Bioethics Literature Database) — Provides access to approximately 550,000 records from integrated German, American and French databases.
  • The Catholic Dimensions of Legal Study - DuFour Law Library has created an online database of more than 1180 bibliographic records of articles, books, book chapters, papal documents and other source materials entitled The Catholic Dimensions of Legal Study. This bibliography was created to help law faculty and others find materials to assist them in response to the 1998 message of the United States Catholic Bishops.
  • ETHXweb (1974-2009) - A useful resource for researching materials in an extensive range of topics relation to bioethics.
  • Global Ethics Observatory (2005-Present)  — The Global Ethics Observatory is a system of databases with worldwide coverage in bioethics and other areas of applied ethics.
  • Heartland Institute - Heartland Institute's mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-maker solutions to social and economic problems. 

State Resources

Resources for state legislation and laws can be found on individual state government sites. You can find links to each individual states government sites such as this: Find Law

Resources for North Dakota:


Attorney General Opinions - Formal opinions on questions of law that relate to governmental operations and duties.

North Dakota Supreme Court Decisions - The latest written opinions from North Dakota's highest court.
North Dakota Constitution - Understand the functions and powers of North Dakota government and the rights of its citizens.
Legislature: Bill Information - Bills, Resolutions, and Journals from the North Dakota State Legislature.
North Dakota Administrative Code - The Administrative Code of North Dakota.
North Dakota Century Code - From the North Dakota Legislative Branch.
North Dakota State Legislature - The official site of the North Dakota Legislative Assembly.

Federal Court

U.S. Court of Appeals (8th Circuit) Opinions - Opinions and resources from the Court.

State Court Opinions

North Dakota Court Information - Learn about the North Dakota court system and find your local courthouse.
North Dakota Supreme Court Opinions - Provides access to North Dakota Supreme Court opinions; includes links to cases since 1996, case citation rules.

Federal Legislation - Bill summary and status from the Library of Congress.