Medicine and law have to respond to rapid and vast changes triggered by developments in biotechnology. Biotechnological developments in assisted reproductive technology, genetics, neuroscience and life-support systems (to name but a few) have required a deep consideration of what makes us human, the extent to which our biology determines our personhood, our understanding of life and death, and the nature of our relationships. This unit takes an interdisciplinary approach to medicine and medical law. Although you will develop a deep understand of doctrines of law that apply to health care, you will also develop an appreciation of underlying philosophy and the impact of the science of medicine. The law is both influenced by, and influences, the deeply personal and moral judgments that must be made in health care. For example, what are the ethics of sex selection of embryos? Can doctors give pain medication to dying patients if that would result in death? Why is non-therapeutic genital surgery unlawful for adult women but not for intersex children?
It is these challenges which make the study of medico-legal issues fascinating and exciting. You’ll be led on this journey by our health law expert Dr Aileen Kennedy in LAW342 Medico-Legal Issues and LLM510 Medical Ethics and Law.