Become a Patron!
Professor Vernellia Randall
The University of Dayton School of Law
This course was offered between 1990 to 2012.
This course involves a survey of the legal regulation of the quality of, access to, and financing of health care. Topics addressed include antitrust, contracts, medical malpractice, patient rights, licensure, and bio-ethical policy. Health law involves issues grounded in contracts, torts, corporation, antitrust, financing, administrative law and ethics
There are many reasons to take health law. First, no other field can match the "magnitude, complexity, and universality of health care. Health law introduces lawyers to the problems confronted by the other great profession in the United States, medicine. Changes in medicine can directly affect not just what humans can do, but how humans think about being human (and, therefore, what rights and obligations humans should have). As issues of public health and safety capture center stage in American culture, the importance of prudent use of law to protect health and safety becomes central. Finally, issues of social justice and resource allocation are presented more starkly in the medical care context than in any other context.
Other reasons could, of course, be added to this list. Health care accounts for over twelve percent of the gross national product, and costs continue to rise out of control. Legal jobs in health care exist in a wide variety of settings, including local, state, and federal regulatory agencies, private health care facilities, insurance companies, and law firms to name just the major employers. And, perhaps as important, there is no more intrinsically fascinating area of law than law applied to the health care field. In fact, whole courses in law schools have been taught around just one medical development, such as organ transplantation, and one specialized medical problem such as human experimentation.