breaking news

FOLLOW LIVE: Texas finishes regular season against Texas Tech

John Robertson, longtime UT law professor, dies


Highlights

After arriving at the University of Texas in 1980, Robertson became a national leader in bioethics.

Law professor also was an enthusiastic art collector.

John Robertson, a longtime University of Texas law professor and a top national expert in bioethics, died Wednesday in his Austin home after what his family described as a brief illness.

Robertson, 74, was a pioneer in exploring the emerging intersection between medical ethics and the law, earning a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to the field, particularly in assisted reproduction, from the American Society for Law, Medicine and Ethics in 2010.

Robertson also was a curious, enthusiastic colleague who had a passion for art and poetry, said longtime friend Willy Forbath, a law professor and associate dean of the UT School of Law.

“He was a man of many parts, and an uncommonly modest and warm guy,” Forbath said. “There are not many people at the law school who had such ranging friendships all across the campus.”

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: Our Lone Star Politics page brings Capitol news to your Facebook feed

Several pieces of Robertson’s extensive art collection are displayed on the law school’s walls.

“He didn’t have the manner of your stereotypical ‘patron of the arts.’ He had none of the pretense,” Forbath said. “To the contrary, he just did it for the pleasure of enjoying the company and the work of artists, many of whom were not artists with large reputations.”

Robertson, who began teaching at the UT law school in 1980, wrote two books on bioethics — “The Rights of the Critically Ill” in 1983 and “Children of Choice: Freedom and the New Reproductive Technologies” in 1994 — as well as articles on genetics, organ transplants and medical experimentation on humans.

He also was chairman of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s Ethics Committee.

A memorial service has not yet been scheduled.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Texas News & Politics

BREAKING: Driver hits, kills pedestrian in South Austin
BREAKING: Driver hits, kills pedestrian in South Austin

A driver hit and killed a pedestrian in South Austin Friday night on West Slaughter Lane, Austin-Travis County EMS officials said. The man, who is estimated to have been in his 40s, was hit near Palace Parkway, about a half-mile west of South First Street, EMS officials said. He died at the scene. Police said the driver stayed at the scene after hitting...
Hays County deputy injured, suspect killed in ambush, authorities say
Hays County deputy injured, suspect killed in ambush, authorities say

A gunman injured a Hays County sheriff’s deputy early Friday when he unleashed a hail of shotgun fire at law enforcement officers in Wimberley in what appeared to be an ambush, according to Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler. Officers fired back and likely felled the suspected shooter, Rocky Miles West, a 26-year-old local man with a lengthy criminal...
1 killed in collision on MLK Jr. Blvd. in East Austin late Thursday
1 killed in collision on MLK Jr. Blvd. in East Austin late Thursday

EAST AUSTIN 1 killed in collision on MLK Jr. Blvd. A woman was killed in a collision on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in East Austin late Thursday, according to police. Authorities said two vehicles collided shortly before 10:40 p.m. near the intersection of MLK Jr. Boulevard and Temple Drive, just west of Springdale Road. A man and a woman, both...
What Central Texas has learned since devastating 2011 wildfire season
What Central Texas has learned since devastating 2011 wildfire season

Looking on as wildfires razed hundreds of thousands of acres in Northern California last month, Central Texas fire officials, no strangers to such disasters, said they remain ready for the next big, inevitable blaze. After all, Texas had its own wake-up call in 2011 after the Bastrop Complex Fire burned more than 34,000 acres and destroyed...
Court rejects defense lawyer Adam Reposa’s bid for early jail release
Court rejects defense lawyer Adam Reposa’s bid for early jail release

Denied bail as he serves six months in jail for contempt of court, Austin defense lawyer Adam Reposa could stay behind bars for most — if not all — of his sentence before he gets the chance to tell an appeals court that a judge botched his case. Reposa’s lawyer, Keith Hampton, said his client has been treated “uniquely&rdquo...
More Stories