• Distinguished Professor, Philosophy
  • Adjunct Professor, Family And Preventive Medicine
  • Adjunct Professor, Internal Medicine
  • Adjunct Professor, Political Science Department
  • Alfred C. Emery Endowed Professor, College Of Law
  • Distinguished Professor, College Of Law
  • Adjunct Professor, Internal Medicine

Research Statement

My research interests lie at the intersection of normative ethics, bioethics, and health law.  My primary current interests include disability and disability law, privacy especially with respect to health information, reproductive ethics, issues of justice in health care, and infectious disease and public health ethics.  I also write and teach on issues in environmental ethics and philosophy of law.

Research Keywords

  • reproductive ethics
  • privacy
  • Social Justice
  • Disability
  • Bioethics


  • French, functional.


  • Francis, Leslie P. (2019). Maintaining the Legal Status of People with Disabilities as Parents: the ADA and the CRPD. Family Court Review. Vol. 57(1), 21-36. Published, 01/20/2019.
  • Francis, Leslie P. & Michael Squires (2018). Patient Registries and their Governance: A Pilot Study and Recommendatioins. Indiana Health Law Review. Vol. 16, 43-65. Published, 10/2018.
  • Silvers, Anita & Leslie P. Francis (2018). Disability, Identity Justice, and the Politics of Nondiscrimination. (pp. 215-234). Rowman & Littlefield International. Published, 07/2018.
  • Francis, John G. & Francis, Leslie P. (2018). Privacy, Employment, and Dignity. (pp. 207-218). Springer International. Published, 07/2018.
  • Francis, Leslie P. (2018). Law "Reviews"? The Changing Roles of Law Schools and the Publications They Sponsor. Marquette Law Review. Vol. 101, 1019-1044. Published, 06/01/2018.
  • Francis, Leslie P. (2018). Disability and Automation: The Promise of Cars that Automate Driving Functions. Journal of Health Care Law and Policy. Vol. 20, 669-697. Published, 05/2018.
  • Francis, Leslie P. 2018. Understanding disability civil rights non-categorically: The Minority Body and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Philosophical Studies 175(5): 1135-1149. Published, 05/2018.
  • Silvers, Anita, & Leslie P. Francis. 2017. An Americans with Disabilities Act for Everyone, and for the Ages as Well. Cardozo Law Review 39(2): 669-697. Published, 01/22/2018.
  • Francis, Leslie P., and John G. Francis. Privacy: What Everyone Needs to Know. New York: Oxford University Press. Published, 07/01/2017.
  • Francis, Leslie. 2017. The Significance of Injustice for Bioethics. Teaching Ethics 17, no. 1: 1-9. Published, 04/01/2017.
  • Francis, Leslie. 2017. Feminist Philosophy of Law, Legal Positivism, and Non-Ideal Theory. In Ann Garry, Serene Khader, and Alison Stone, ed. The Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy. New York: Routledge, pp. 701-712. Published, 04/01/2017.
  • Francis, L.P. 2017. Transparency. In Koontz, Linda, ed. Information Privacy in the Evolving Healthcare Environment, 2d ed. HIMSS. Published, 02/01/2017.
  • Francis, L.P. 2017. Introduction: the state of reproductive ethics today. In Francis, L.P., ed. Handbook on Reproductive Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-42. Word count: 21,145. Published, 01/27/2017.
  • Silvers, A., and Francis, LP. 2017. Reproduction as a Civil Right. In Francis, L.P., ed. Handbook on Reproductive Ethics, Oxford University Press, pp. 182-205. Published, 01/27/2017.
  • Francis, L.P. 2017. Is Surrogacy Ethically Problematic? In Francis, L.P., ed. Handbook on Reproductive Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 388-406. Published, 01/27/2017.
  • Francis, L.P., ed. 2017. Oxford Handbook of Reproductive Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press. Published, 01/27/2017.
  • Silvers, A., and Francis, LP. 2017. Human and civil models of rights: Healthy and ill disabled and access to health care. In Human Rights and Disability: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Ed. John-Stewart Gordon, Johann-Christian Poder, and Holger Burckhart. Abington, Oxon., UK: Routledge, pp. 132-153. Published, 01/18/2017.
  • Botkin, Jeffrey R., Leslie P. Francis & Nancy C. Rose. Concerns About Justification for Fetal Genome Sequencing. American Journal of Bioethics 17, no. 1: 23-25. Published, 01/06/2017.
  • Francis, L.P. 2017. Promoting Equality in and through the Paralympics. Philosophy: Sport. Ed. R. Scott Kretchmar. Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2017. p245-262. Published, 01/06/2017.
  • Francis, Leslie P. 2016. Presidential address: Applied Ethics, a misnomer for a field? Proceedings of the American Philosophical Association 90: 44-58. Published, 11/15/2016.
  • Francis L. Silvers A. Perspectives on the meaning of “disability. AMA Journal of Ethics. 2016;18(10):1025-1033. Published, 07/13/2016.
  • Francis, Leslie P. & Anita Silvers. 2016. The Health Care Workforce: How to Understand Accommodations. St. Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy 9: 57-88. Published, 04/25/2016.
  • Francis, LP, and JG Francis. 2016. Justice and Research on Controlled Substances with HIV+ Persons. AJOB. 16, no. 4: 52-54. Published, 04/01/2016.
  • Silvers A, Francis L, Badesch B. Reproductive Rights and Access to Reproductive Services for Women with Disabilities. AMA Journal of Ethics. 2016; 18:430-437. Published, 04/01/2016.
  • Francis, LP. 2016. Title IX: An Incomplete Effort to Achieve Equality in Sports. Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 43, no. 1: 83-99. Published, 02/01/2016.
  • Francis, LP, Craig R, George E. 2016. The FDA’s Troubling Failure to Use its Authority to Regulate Genetically Modified Foods. Food and Drug Law Journal 71: 105-134. Published, 02/01/2016.
  • Francis, LP. 2015. Commentary: Disability and philosophy: applying ethics in circumstances of injustice. Journal of Medical Ethics 42(1): 35-36. Published, 12/07/2015.
  • Francis, L. (2015). Creation Ethics and the harms of existence. BMJ. Published, 2015.
  • Francis, L.P. Risk Management and Conflicts of Interest. Ch. 6 in Ethics and Risk Management, ed. Lina Svedin. Charlotte, N.C.: Information Age Publishing. Published, 04/01/2015.
  • Francis, LP. 2015. Privacy and Health Information: The United States and the European Union. University of Kentucky Law Review 103: 419-431. Published, 02/01/2015.
  • Francis, L.P. 2015. Preview: Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center. ABA Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases 4(42): 153-157. Published, 01/15/2015.
  • Disability and Assisted Death. Pp. 486-499 in The Routledge Companion to Bioethics, ed. John D. Arras, Elizabeth Fenton, and Rebecca Kukla. New York & London: Routledge (2015). Published, 01/2015.
  • Francis, Leslie P. & Francis, John G. 2014. “Trafficking in Human Beings: Partial Compiance Theory, Enforcement Failure, and Obligations to Victims,” pp. 171-205, in Meyers, Diana, ed., Poverty, Agency, and Human Rights. New York: Oxford University Press. Published, 06/2014.
  • Francis, LP. 2014. Adult Consent to Continued Participation in Patient Registries, St Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy 7(2): 389-405. Published, 06/2014.
  • Stein, M; Silvers, A; Areheart, B; Francis, L. 2014. “Accommodating Every Body.” University of Chicago Law Review 81(2): 689-757. Published, 04/2014.
  • Confidentiality and Sharing Information when Adolescents are Seriously Ill, Michigan State University Journal of Medicine and Law (2014). Published, 02/2014.
  • Creation Ethics and the Harms of Existence, Journal of Medical Ethics ( 2014). Published, 02/2014.
  • Are IVF Risk-Sharing Programs Ethical? http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2014/01/ecas3-1401.html. Virtual Mentor. 2014; 16(1):17-23. Published, 01/2014.
  • Francis, Leslie P. & Francis, John G. 2013. “HIV Treatment as Prevention: Not an Argument for Continuing Criminalization of HIV Transmission,” International Journal of Law in Context 9(4): 520 - 534 (2013). Published, 12/2013.
  • Silvers, Anita, and Francis, Leslie. Human Rights, Civil Rights: Prescribing Disability Discrimination Prevention in Packaging Essential Health Benefits. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 42: 781-791 (Winter 2013). Published, 12/2013.
  • Francis, Leslie P. & Silvers, Anita. “Infanticide, Moral Status, and Moral Reasons: the importance of context,” Journal of Medical Ethics 39(5):289-92 (2013). Published, 05/2013.
  • Francis, Leslie P. & John G. Francis. 2013. Data Citizenship and Informed Consent. AJOB 13(4): 38-39. Published, 03/2013.
  • Francis, J & Francis, L. “Privacy, Confidentiality, and Justice: Using Large-Scale Sets of Health Data to Improve Public Health,” symposium on “Technology and New Challenges to Privacy,” Journal of Social Philosophy, 2013. Published, 01/2013.
  • Francis, Leslie P. & Patricia Smith. “Feminist Philosophy of Law,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy [online] (14,139 words). The Stanford Encyclopedia is the reference work in the field of philosophy, featuring the best-known authorities in the field. Published, 01/2013.
  • Francis, Leslie P. “Transparency,” Ch. 8 in Information Privacy in the Evolving Healthcare Environment, ed. 
Linda Koontz, HIMSS 2013. Published, 01/2013.
  • Francis, Leslie P. & Francis, John G. “Informatics and Public Health Surveillance,” in Bioinformatics Law: Legal Issues for Computational Biology in the Post-Genome Era, ed. Jorge Contreras & James Cuticcia (American Bar Association, 2012). Published, 12/2012.
  • Francis, Leslie P., “When Patients Interact with EHRs: Problems of Privacy and Confidentiality,” Houston Journal of Health Law and Policy 12(2): 171-199 (8474 words). Published, 09/2012.
  • Francis, Leslie P., “On Privacy,” (to be published in the proceedings of the July 2012 IVR conference). Published, 07/2012.
  • Review of Licia Carlson, The Faces of Intellectual Disability: Philosophical Reflections. Social Theory and Practice 38(2): 370-376 (2012). Published, 04/2012.
  • Francis, Leslie P. & Anita Silvers. 2012. A Wrongful Case for Parental Tort Liability. AJOB 14(4): 15-17. Published, 03/2012.
  • Justice in Pandemic Planning, Chapter 41 in Rhodes, Battin & Silvers, Medicine and Social Justice, 2d ed., Oxford University Press, 2012. Published, 02/13/2012.
  • Age Rationing Under Conditions of Injustice, Ch. 29 in Rhodes, Battin & Silvers, Medicine and Social Justice, Oxford University Press 2012. Published, 02/13/2012.
  • Francis, LP. 2012. Book Review, Alicia Ouellette, Toward a Disability Conscious Bioethics,” Journal of Legal Medicine 33: 285-303. Published, 02/2012.
  • Francis L & Francis J. 2011. “Criminalizing Health Related Behaviors Dangerous to Others? Disease Transmission, Transmission-Facilitation, and the Importance of Trust.” Criminal Law and Philosophy 6(1): 47-63, DOI: 10.1007/s11572-011-9136-7. Published, 12/2011.
  • Francis, Leslie P. 20ll. “Skeletons in the Family Medical Closet,” St. Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy 4(2): 371-396. Published, 07/2011.
  • Silvers A & Francis L. 2011. Cloudy Crystal Balls do not "Gray" Babies Make. AJOB 11(20: 36-39. Published, 02/2011.
  • Silvers A & Francis L. 2011. Cloudy Crystal Balls do not "Gray" Babies Make. AJOB 11(2: 36-39). Published, 01/2011.
  • Francis, Leslie P. & Francis, J.G. “Stateless crimes, legitimacy, and international criminal law: the case of organ trafficking.” Criminal Law and Philosophy 4(3): 283-295 (2010). Published, 10/2010.
  • Francis, Leslie P. & Francis, J.G. “Group compromise: perfect cases make problematic generalizations.” American Journal of Bioethics 10(9):25-27 (2010). Published, 10/2010.
  • Francis, Leslie P., “The Physician-Patient Relationship and a National Health Information Network, Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics 38: 36-46 (2010). Published, 07/2010.
  • Silvers, Anita and Francis, Leslie P. “Thinking about the good: reconfiguring metaphysics (or not) for people with cognitive disabilities.” In Eva Feder Kittay & Licia Carlson, eds. Cognitive Disability and its Challenge to Moral Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell 2010) (reprinted from Metaphilosophy). Published, 06/2010.
  • Francis, Leslie P. “You’re born with your genes?: justice and protection against discrimination in the use of genetic information.” Mt. Sinai Journal of Medicine 77(2): 188-196, DOI: 10.1002/msj.201 (2010). Published, 03/2010.
  • Francis, Leslie P., and Anita Silvers, “Bringing Age Discrimination and Disability Discrimination Together: Achieving Meaningful Access,” Marquette Elders Advisor 11(1): (2010). Published, 02/2010.
  • Francis, Leslie P., and Anita Silvers, “Bringing Age Discrimination and Disability Discrimination Together: Achieving Meaningful Access,” Marquette Elders Advisor 11(1): (2010). Published, 01/2010.
  • L.P. and J.G. Francis (2010). International Criminal Courts, the Rule of Law, and the Prevention of Harm: Building Justice in Times of Injustice, pp. 58-74 in Larry May & Zach Hoskins, eds., International Criminal Law and Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Published, 11/2009.
  • L.P.Francis (2009). Understanding Autonomy in Light of Intellectual Disability, pp. 200-216 in Kimberley Brownlee and Adam Cureton, eds. Disability and Disadvantage. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Published, 10/2009.
  • J.G.& L.P. Francis (2009). Rights Variation within a Federal System: the Importance of Mobility. Political Research Quarterly, epub ahead of print, doi:10.1177/1065912909340893. Published, 07/17/2009.
  • A. Silvers and L.P. Francis (2009). Thinking About the Good: Reconfiguring Liberal Metaphysics (or Not) for People with Cognitive Disabilities. Metaphilosophy 40(3-4): 475-499. Published, 07/2009.
  • L.P. Francis, M.P. Battin, J. Jacobson, C. Smith (2009). Syndromic Surveillance and Patients as Victims and Vectors. Bioethical Inquiry 6: 187-195. DOI 10.10-07/s11673-009-9163-4. Published, 06/09/2009.
  • Francis, Leslie P., Reciprocity and Environmental Obligations, Hofstra Law Review, 2009. Published, 01/2009.
  • Margaret P. Battin, Leslie P. Francis, Jay A. Jacobson & Charles Smith, The Patient as Victim and Vector: Bioethics and Infectious Disease, Oxford University Press, 2009. Published, 01/2009.
  • M.P.Battin, L.P.Francis, J.Jacobson, C. Smith (2009). The Patient as Victim and Vector: Ethics and Infectious Disease. New York: Oxford University Press. Published, 2009.
  • Silvers, Anita, and Leslie P. Francis, “Playing God With Baby Doe: Quality of Life, Sanctity of Life and Unpredictable Life—Standards at Start of Life,” Georgia State Law Review 25: 1061-1094 (Summer 2009). Published, 2009.
  • M.P.Battin, L.P. Francis, J. Jacobson & C. Smith (2009). New York: Oxford University Press. Published, 11/2008.
  • Francis, Leslie P., Privacy and Confidentiality: The Importance of Context, Monist 91(1) (January 2008). Published, 01/2008.
  • Silvers, Anita, and Leslie P. Francis, No Disability Standpoint Here!: Law School Faculties and the Invisibility Problems, University of Pittsburgh Law Review (2008). Published, 01/2008.
  • Francis, Leslie P. and Anita Silvers, Debilitating Alexander v. Choate: "Meaningful Access" to Health Care for People with Disabilities, 45 Fordham Urban Law Journal 101 (2008). Published, 01/2008.
  • Terry, Nicholas P. and Leslie P. Francis, Confidentiality and Electronic Medical Records, 2007 Illinois Law Review 681-735. Published, 10/12/2007.
  • Francis, Leslie P. and Anita Silvers, Liberalism and Independently Scripted Accounts of the Good: Meeting the Challenge of Dependent Agency, Social Theory and Practice (Spring 2007): 311-334. Published, 03/2007.
  • Francis, Leslie P. and Anita Silvers, (Mis)framing Schiavo as Discrimination against People with Disabilities, University of Miami Law Review 61: 789-820 (2007). Published, 01/2007.
  • Silvers, Anita and Leslie P. Francis, A New Start on the Road Not Taken: Driving With Lane to Head Off Disability-Based Denials of Rights, Washington University Journal of Law and Policy 23: 33-94 (2007). Published, 01/2007.
  • Smith, Charles B., Margaret P. Battin, Leslie P. Francis, & Jay A. Jacobson, Should Rapid Tests for HIV Infection Now Be Mandatory During Pregnancy? Global Differences in Scarcity and a Dilemma of Technological Advance, Developing World Bioethics (2007). Published, 01/2007.
  • Death, Dying, and the Ending of Life, edited by Margaret P. Battin, Leslie P. Francis, and Bruce L. Landesman. International Library of Medicine, Ethics, and Law. Ashgate, 2007. Published, 01/2007.
  • Leslie P. Francis, Discrimination in Medical Practice, in Rosamond Rhodes, Anita Silvers, and Leslie P. Francis, Blackwell Guide to Medical Ethics, Oxford and New York: Blackwell's, 2006, pp. 162-180. Published, 01/2006.
  • Francis, Leslie P., M.P. Battin, J. Botkin, J. Jacobson, C. Smith, Infectious Disease and the Ethics of Research: The Moral Significance of Communicability, in Matti Hayry, Tuija Takala, and Peter Herissone-Kelly, eds. Ethics in Biomedical Research: International Perspectives, Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2006. Published, 01/2006.
  • Jay A. Jacobson, M.P. Battin, Jeffrey Botkin, Leslie P. Francis, James Mason, & Charles B. Smith, Vertical Transmission of Infectious Disease and Genetic Disorders, in Marcel Verweij and Angus Dawson, eds., Public Health Ethics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Published, 01/2006.
  • Francis, Leslie P., Margaret P. Battin, Jay A. Jacobson, and Charles Smith, and Jeffrey Botkin, How Infectious Disease Got Left Out - and What This Omission Might Have Meant for Bioethics, Bioethics 19(4): 287-322 (2005). Published, 08/2005.
  • Silvers, Anita and Leslie P. Francis, Justice Through Trust: Disability and the 'Outlier Problem' in Social Contract Theory, Ethics 116: 40-77 (2005). Published, 01/2005.
  • Smith, Charles B., Battin, M.P. Botkin, J., Francis, L.P. & Jacobson, J., (2004), Are There Characteristics of Infectious Diseases that Raise Ethical Issues? Developing World Bioethics 4:1, pp. 1-16. Published, 12/2004.
  • Francis, Leslie P., Employment and Intellectual Disability, 8 Journal of Gender, Race & Justice 299 (2004). Published, 01/2004.
  • Francis, Leslie P., Global Systemic Problems and Interconnected Duties, Environmental Ethics 25: 115-128 (2003). Published, 01/2003.
  • Leslie P. and John G. Francis, Land Wars: Property, Community and Land Use in an Interconnected World, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2003. Published, 01/2003.
  • Francis, Leslie P., Disability, in Frey and Wellman, eds., A Companion to Applied Ethics (Blackwell's 2002). Published, 01/2002.
  • Americans with Disabilities: Implications for Individuals and Institutions, ed. Leslie Francis and Anita Silvers, Routledge, 2000. Published, 01/2000.