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Jay Katz papers

 Collection
Call Number: MS 1958

Scope and Contents

The collection comprises the papers of medical doctor, Yale Law School professor, and bioethicist Jay Katz. The papers document Katz's significant contributions to the field of bioethics, through both his teaching and scholarship, and through his public service and advocacy as a member of two federal committees charged to investigate human medical experiments. The papers consist of correspondence; files pertaining to Katz's work as a member of the Tuskegee Syphilis Ad Hoc Advisory Panel and the Advisory Committee on Radiation Experiments; drafts of speeches delivered by Katz; subject files; files pertaining to classes taught by Katz as a professor at Yale Law School; and drafts of articles and books written by Katz.

The dates on digital files were determined by dates provided by description on the disk label written by the creator, or determined by the content of the files.

Dates

  • 1947-2003

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Original computer files may not be accessed due to their fragility. Researchers must consult access copies.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Marilyn Katz, 2010.

Arrangement

The papers are arranged into six series: I. Correspondence, 1961-2003. II. Federal investigation files, 1931-1997. III. Speeches, 1961-1997. IV. Subject files, 1959-1999. V. Teaching files, 1961-2001. VI. Writings, 1972-1997.

Extent

7 Linear Feet (19 boxes)

22.6 Megabytes

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/mssa.ms.1958

Overview

The collection comprises the papers of medical doctor, Yale Law School professor, and bioethicist Jay Katz. The papers document Katz's significant contributions to the field of bioethics, through both his teaching and scholarship, and through his public service and advocacy as a member of two federal committees charged to investigate human medical experiments. The papers consist of correspondence; files pertaining to Katz's work as a member of the Tuskegee Syphilis Ad Hoc Advisory Panel and the Advisory Committee on Radiation Experiments; drafts of speeches delivered by Katz; subject files; files pertaining to classes taught by Katz as a professor at Yale Law School; and drafts of articles and books written by Katz.

Biographical / Historical

Jacob "Jay" Katz was born on October 20, 1922, in Zwickau, Germany, where his father was a business owner. When Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party came to power in 1933, Katz's family's German citizenship was revoked. His father arranged for him to obtain a Czech passport, and at age sixteen, Katz traveled alone to Prague, and ultimately to the United States by way of Italy and Great Britain. The rest of his family joined him in the United States in 1940.

Katz graduated from the University of Vermont in 1944, and in 1949 he earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. Following his education, Dr. Katz completed his internship and residency in New York City, and then enlisted in the United States Air Force, serving as a First Lieutenant and Captain at the Maxwell Air Force Base hospital in Montgomery, Alabama.

Katz's career at Yale University began in 1953 when he was appointed Chief Resident at the Yale School of Medicine's outpatient clinic. He began teaching psychiatry at Yale in 1955, and in 1958 was named Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Law at Yale. Dr. Katz's work in the areas of medical law and bioethics began when he served on a committee that drafted the Connecticut law that established the terms of patient privilege for psychotherapists and their patients in 1961. This law served as a model for the Federal Rules of Evidence, which are enforced across the United States.

In 1972, Katz was named to serve on a federal committee charged to investigate the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, begun in 1932 to study the progression and effects of untreated syphilis in about 400 impoverished African-American men from rural Alabama. The infected men were never told that they had syphilis, and were never treated for it, though they were compensated for their participation in the study with free health care, meals, and burial insurance. The committee concluded that the experiment was unethical, that the participants should have been treated for their infections, and called for greater governmental oversight and protection of subjects in medical studies.

In 1994, Katz was appointed to serve on the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, charged by President Bill Clinton to investigate 30 experiments in which individuals were unknowingly exposed to radiation. Katz was active on a number of other bioethics issues, as an outspoken proponent of the concept of informed consent, and as an opponent of the use of data gathered during Nazi medical experiments.

Katz was the prolific author of six books and numerous articles, and wrote extensively on topics related to the relationship between medicine, ethics, and law. He died on November 17, 2008, at the age of eighty-six at his home in New Haven, Connecticut.
Title
Guide to the Jay Katz Papers
Status
Under Revision
Author
compiled by Matthew Gorham and staff of Manuscripts and Archives
Date
September 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven CT 06520-8240 US
(203) 432-1735
(203) 432-7441 (Fax)

Location

Sterling Memorial Library
Room 147
120 High Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours