What must prosecutors prove about a defendant’s mental state in order to convict them of unauthorized distribution of controlled substances under federal drug laws? In the case of Ruan v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that the Government must prove the defendant knowingly or intentionally acted in an unauthorized manner. But because the defendants in this case were medical doctors involved in questionable opioid prescribing practices, the case has generated an array of public policy questions. The Government, stressing opioid overdose deaths and the broad harms of the opioid epidemic, argued the law should be interpreted to apply an objective standard for criminal liability. The doctors, and many amici briefs, argued that an objective standard could criminalize merely careless prescribing and could deter responsible doctors from trying any novel medical therapies that had not yet been accepted by traditional medical practice. Please join our panel of experts as they discuss the doctrines and broader policies involved in the Ruan case and the implications for criminal law and beyond.
This event will be presented with automated closed captions. If you wish to request traditional CART services or other accommodations, please contact Jana Hrdinova by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests made at least 10 days in advance will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet requests received after that date.