Ben A. Rich, J.D., M.A., Ph.D.



Internal Medicine


  • Professor and Alumni Association Endowed Chair

Clinical Interests

Dr. Rich is an attorney with a doctoral degree in philosophy. He has substantial experience in both private practice and as a legal counsel for several leading academic medical centers. His special interests include the legal and ethical aspects of the physician-patient relationship, end-of-life care and pain management. He received the Mayday Scholar's Award and the University of Colorado President's Fund for the Humanities Award. Dr. Rich is working to further develop the UC Davis Bioethics Program and its training of medical staff, students and other professionals.


General Medicine
Pain Medicine

Center/Program Affiliation

Bioethics Program


Ph.D., University of Colorado, Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, 1995

J.D., Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri, 1973

B.A., DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, 1969

Select Recent Publications

Rich, B.A. Causation and Intent: Persistent Conundums in End of Life Care. Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics, Vol. 16, No. 1, 16: 63-73.

Rich, B.A. Physician Paternalism v. Respect for Patient Autonomy: The More Things Change the More They Remain the Same, Journal of Medicine and Law 10: 87-124.

Rich, B.A. The Treating Physician as Expert Witness: Ethical and Pragmatic Considerations. Pain Medicine 7: 460-463.

Rich, B.A. The politics of pain: rhetoric or reform. DePaul University Journal of Health Care Law 8: 519-558.

Rich, B.A. Medical custom and medical ethics: rethinking the standard of care. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 14: 27-39.

Rich, B.A. Bioethics in court. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 33:194-197.

Rich, B. A. Oregon versus Ashcroft: the battle over the soul of medicine. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 12: 310-321, 2003.

Rich, B. A. A placebo for the pain: a medico-legal case analysis. Pain Medicine, 4: 366-372, 2003.

Rich, B. A. Oregon versus Ashcroft: pain relief, physician-assisted suicide, and the controlled substances act. Pain Medicine, 3: 353-360, 2002.

Rich, B. A. Moral conundrums in the courtroom: reflections on a decade in the culture of pain. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 11: 180-190, 2002.

Rich, B. A. Moral lessons from the jury box. Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy, 16: 81-92, 2002.

Rich, B. A. The ethics of surrogate decision making. Western Journal of Medicine, 176: 127-129, 2002.

Rich, B. A. The tyranny of judicial formalism: oral directives and the clear and convincing evidence standard. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 11: 292-302, 2002.

Rich, B. A. Prognostication in clinical medicine: prophecy or professional responsibility? The Journal of Legal Medicine, 23: 297-358, 2002.

Rich, B. A. Defining and delineating a duty to prognosticate. Theoretical Medicine. 22:177-192, 2001.

Rich, B. A. An ethical analysis of the barriers to effective pain management Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. Winter 9:54-70, 2000.

Rich, B. A. Pain management and the goals of health care: ethical and legal considerations. Journal of Pharmaceutical Care in Pain and Symptom Control 2000 8:43-64.

Rich, B. A. Prescription for the pain: the emerging standard of care for pain management. William Mitchell Law Review 26:1-91, 2000.

Nelson-Marten, P., B. A. Rich. A historical perspective of informed consent in clinical practice and research. Seminars in Oncology Nursing May; 15:81-88, 1999.

Rich, B. A. Pain Management: The Emerging Standard of Care. Colorado Medicine, 95:88-89, 1998.

Rich, B. A. Personhood, patienthood, and clinical practice: reassessing advance directives. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 4:610-628, 1998.

Rich, B. A. Pain management: an age old ethic seeks modern standards. Today's Internist 39:37-39, 1998.

Rich, B. A. Advance directives: the next generation. Journal of Legal Medicine, 19:63-97, 1998.

Rich, B. A. A Legacy of silence: bioethics and the culture of pain. Journal of Medical Humanities 18:233-259, 1997.

Rich, B. A. Postmodern personhood: a matter of consciousness. Special Issue: Bioethics 11:206-216, 1997.

Rich, B. A. Prospective autonomy and critical interest: a narrative defense of the moral authority of advance directives. Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics 6:138-147, 1997.

Rich, B. A. The values history: restoring narrative identity to long term care. The Journal of Ethics, Law and Aging, 2:75-84, 1996.

Rich, B. A. Pain management: legal risks and ethical responsibilities. Journal of Pharmaceutical Care in Pain & Symptom Management 5:5-19, 1996.

Rich, B. A. Postmodern medicine: deconstructing the Hippocratic Oath. University of Colorado Law Review, 65:77-136, 1993.

Rich, B. A. The assault on privacy in healthcare decision making. Denver University Law Review 68:1-55, 1991.

Rich, B. A. The values history: a new standard of care. Emory Law Journal 40:1109-1181, 1991.

Rich, B. A. Malpractice issues in the academic medical center. Journal of College and University Law 13:149-177. Reprinted at Defense Law Journal 36:641-675, 1987.

Rich, B. A. Minimizing the risk of obstetrical malpractice. Hospital Risk Management 8:107, 1986.

Rich, B. A. State regulation and the antitrust laws: conflicting roles for National Association of Attorneys General (October) 1-25, 1976.

Rich, B. A. Sovereign immunity: the liability of government and its officials, National Association of Attorneys General (January) 1-71, 1975.

Rich, B. A. The Office of Attorney General (Editor). National Association of Attorneys General (1975).

Rich, B. A. Antitrust manual (Ed.), National Association of Attorneys General, 1975.

Rich, B. A. Managing recreation rivers. University of Akron Law Review 8:43-56, 1974.

Rich, B. A. Commentary: Equal protection as a means of securing adequate municipal services. Urban Law Annual, 277-282, 1973.