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Medical Law and Ethics — Overview

Forthcoming Subject Events


May 2014

Oxford Med Law & Ethics Discussion Group Seminar Series
Should medical ethics be medical law?
Postponed
Speaker: Dr Charles Foster
Oxford Law Faculty TBA at 12:00

Discussion Groups

These self-sustaining groups are an essential part of the life of our graduate school. They are organised in some cases by graduate students and in others by Faculty members and meet regularly during term, typically over a sandwich lunch, when one of the group presents work in progress or introduces a discussion of a particular issue or new case. They may also encompass guest speakers from the faculty and beyond.

Medical Law and Ethics Discussion Group

Publications

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Showing all 53 Medical Law and Ethics publications currently held in our database
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Journal Articles

2103

Charles Foster, Tony Hope, J J W Herring and Karen Melham, 'Intention and Foresight - From Ethics to Law and Back Again' (2103) 22 Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 86 [...]

A discussion of the doctrine of double effect


2014

I Goold and H Maslen, 'Must the Surgeon Take the Pill? Negligence Duty in the Context of Cognitive Enhancement' (2014) 77 Modern Law Review 60

I Goold, Loane Skene, Jonathan Herring and Kate Greasley, 'The Human Body as Property? Possession, Control and Commodification (The Concise Argument)' (2014) 40 Journal of Medical Ethics 1

I Goold, 'Why Does It Matter How We Regulate the Use of Human Body Parts?' (2014) 40 Journal of Medical Ethics 3

J J W Herring and P-L Chau, 'Interconnected, inhabited and insecure: why bodies should not be property' (2014) 40 Journal of Medical Ethics 39

2013

I Goold, 'Property or Not Property? The Spectrum of Approaches to Regulating the Use of Human Bodily Material' (2013) Journal of Law and Medicine (forthcoming)

I Goold, 'The Concise Argument: Withholding Artificial Nutrition and Hydration' (2013) 39 Journal of Medical Ethics 541

J J W Herring, 'Forging a relational approach: Best interests or human rights?' (2013) Medical Law Internation

Imogen Goold, Loane Skene and J J W Herring, 'Regulating the Use of Human Bodily Material' (2013) 245-250 Journal of Law and Medicine

J J W Herring and P-L Chau, 'Relational Bodies' (2013) 21 Journal of Law and Medicine 294

2012

I Goold, 'The Concise Argument: Highlights from this issue ' (2012) 38 Journal of Medical Ethics 133

2011

J J W Herring and Charles Foster, '"Please don't tell me": The Right Not to Know' (2011) 21 Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 1 [...]

discussion of the right not to know


J J W Herring, 'Legal Issues Surrounding Dementia' (2011) 1 Elder Law Journal 182

J J W Herring, 'Pain, Human Rights and the Law' (2011) 2 Managing Pain 1 [...]

An examination of the extent to which there is a right to relief from pain.


J J W Herring, Charles Foster, Tony Hope and Karen Melham, 'The double effect effect' (2011) 20 Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 1 [...]

A discussion of the doctrine of double effect


2010

J J W Herring, 'The Legal Duties of Carers' (2010) 18 Medical Law Review 248 [...]

A discussion of the legal duties and responsibilities of those caring informally for others.


J J W Herring, 'The right to choose' (2010) New Law Journal 1066 [...]

A discussion of capacity to consent to receive contraception.


2009

I Goold and Julian Savulescu, 'In Favour of Freezing Eggs for Non-Medical Reasons' (2009) 23 Bioethics 47 [...]

This article explores the social benefits and moral arguments in favour of women and couples freezing eggs and embryos for social reasons. Social IVF promotes equal participation by women in employment; it offers women more time to choose a partner; it provides better opportunities for the child as it allows couples more time to become financially stable; it may reduce the risk of genetic and chromosomal abnormality; it allows women and couples to have another child if circumstances change; it offers an option to women and children at risk of ovarian failure; it may increase the egg and embryo pool. There are strong arguments based on equal concern and respect for women which require that women have access to this new technology. Freezing eggs also avoids some of the moral objections associated with freezing embryos.


ISBN: 02699702

J J W Herring and Charles Foster, 'Blaming the patient: contributory negligence in medical malpractice litigation' (2009) 25 Journal of Professional Negligence 76 [...]

A discussion of the role of contributory neglignece in clinical negligence.


J J W Herring, 'Losing it ? Losing what? The law and dementia' (2009) Child and Family Law Quarterly 3 [...]

An analysis of the law and dementia


2008

I Goold and Julian Savulescu, 'Freezing Eggs for Lifestyle Reasons' (2008) 8 American Journal of Bioethics 32 [...]

Only around 50% of women who postpone childbearing until their 30s conceive in the 6 years following. Infertility causes significant harm to those who suffer it, and we argue for promoting access to treatments, such as cryopreservation of eggs, to enable women to pursue their reproductive goals as they choose.


ISBN: 15265161

J J W Herring, 'Caregivers in Medical Law and Ethics' (2008) 25 Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy 1 [...]

An article discussing the legal and ethical significance of caring


ISBN: 0882-1046

J J W Herring, 'Entering the Fog: On the Borderlines of Mental Capacity' (2008) 83 Indiana Law Journal 1620 [...]

A discussion of the legal position of those of borderline capacity


ISBN: 0019-6665

C Hodges, 'Regulating Risk or Advancing Therapies? Regulation and sustainability of medicines in a cash-limited economy' (2008) European Business Law Review 389

2006

S Green, 'A Game of Doctors and Purses' (2006) Medical Law Review 1

2002

Laura Hoyano, 'Misconceptions about Wrongful Conception' (2002) 65(6) Modern Law Review 883 [...]

DOI: 10.1111/1468-2230.00414

A critical analysis of the British cases considering the recoverability in tort of the cost of maintaining a child born following a failed sterilisation procedure, beginning with McFarlane v Tayside Health Authority [2000] 2 AC 59, and culminating in the Court of Appeal decision in Rees v. Darlington Memorial Hospital NHS Trust [2002] 2 All ER 177.


ISBN: 1468-2230

0

J J W Herring, Charles Foster, Tony Hope and Karen Melham, 'Intention and Foresight - From ethics to law and back again' 22 Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 1

J J W Herring, 'Review of The Beauty Bias' 31 Legal Studies 326

Books

2014

J J W Herring, Medical Law: Law Express (4th edn, Pearson 2014)

2013

I Goold, Flesh and Blood: Owning Our Bodies\\\\\\\' Parts (Hart Publishing 2013) (forthcoming)

2012

J J W Herring, Medical Law and Ethics, 4th ed (Oxford University Press 2012) [...]

Textbook on medical law and ethics


ISBN: 978-0-19-964640-1

J J W Herring, Medical Law: Law Express (3rd edn, Pearson 2012)

J J W Herring, Medical Law: Questions and Answers (2nd edn, Routledge 2012)

2011

J J W Herring, Medical Law: Core Text (Oxford University Press 2011) [...]

Textbook on medical law


ISBN: 9780199492531

J J W Herring, Medical Law: Questions and Answers (Routledge 2011) [...]

A book containing suggested answers to questions about medical law


ISBN: 9780415575416

2010

J J W Herring, Medical Law and Ethics (OUP 2010) [...]

A comprehensive textbook on medical law and ethics.


ISBN: 0199576483

2009

J J W Herring, Medical Law: Law Express, 2nd ed (Pearson 2009) [...]

Medical Law revision textbook


ISBN: 9781408225813

2008

J J W Herring, Medical Law and Ethics, 2nd ed (OUP 2008) [...]

Textbook on Medical Law and Ethics


ISBN: 9780199230662

Chapters

2014

I Goold, 'Abandonment and Human Tissue' in Imogen Goold, Jonathan Herring, Loane Skene, and Kate Greasley (eds), Persons, Parts and Property: How Should We Regulate Human Tissue in the 21st Century? (Hart Publishing 2014) (forthcoming)

I Goold and Hannah Maslen, 'Responsibility enhancement and the law' in Jens Clausen, Neil Levy (eds), Handbook of Neuroethics (Springer 2014) [...]

Much of the law is concerned with ascribing responsibility. The law of negligence looks for the person who acted without due care, and places on them the responsibility for the outcome. The criminal law responds punitively to those who break its rules, but the accused can avoid being held wholly or partially responsible if she can point to evidence that showed she lacked the capacity to be in charge of her actions. Contract law is based around competent individuals voluntarily taking on obligations to one another, and holds them responsible if they fail in them. Responsibility is demonstrably a key concept in the law of England, and therefore we should be particularly interested in technology that can affect an individual’s capacity to be responsible. In this chapter, we look at one particular area of English law in which new drugs are potentially changing our capacities, and hence (arguably) our responsibilities: cognitive enhancers.


S Green, 'Chester v Afshar' in Jonathan Herring and Jesse Wall (eds), Landmark Cases in Medical Law ( 2014) (forthcoming)

2013

J J W Herring, 'Older People and Nursing Care' in John Tingle and Alan Cribb (eds), Nursing Law and Ethics (Wiley Blackwell 2013)

2011

J J W Herring, 'Ending Life' in Andrew Grubb (ed), Principles of Medical Law (OUP 2011)

J J W Herring, 'The lonliness of Status: The Legal and Moral Significance of Birth' in F Ebtehaj, J Herring, M Johnson and M Richards (eds), Birth Rites and Rights (Hart 2011) [...]

A chapter considering the moral and legal significance of birth and the status of the fetus.


C Hodges, 'The Regulation of Medicines and Medical Devices ' in Andrew Grubb, Judith Laing, Jean McHale and Ian Kennedy (eds), Principles of Medical Law (Oxford University Press 2011)

2010

J J W Herring, 'Carers' in L. Gostin et al (ed), Principles of Mental Health Law and Policy (OUP 2010) [...]

The legal and ethics issues surrounding the carers of those with mental health issues.


2009

I Goold and C Kelly, 'Lawyers’ Medicine: The Interaction of the Medical Profession and the Law, 1760–2000' in Imogen Goold and Catherine Kelly (eds), Lawyers’ Medicine: The Historical Interaction of Medicine and the Legislature, 1760-2000 (Hart Publishing 2009) [...]

The 19th and 20th centuries were notable for two major and concurrent changes which have helped to shape modern Britain. It is the interplay of these processes which is the subject of this collected volume. One was the rapid development of medical science, which progressed through various stages allowing it increasingly to assert the ‘scientific certainty’ of medical conclusions or opinions. Over the same period, the role and regulatory activities of British government were significantly extended. Parliament began to pass legislation on a much broader range of issues than it had previously attempted. This wider sphere included medical practice. The increased ‘scientific certainty’ of medical conclusions gave those conclusions greater utility to the State when it engaged in fact-finding exercises and accounts, in part, for the increasing appearance of medical experts, opinion, and evaluation of medical practice in its law making bodies.


ISBN: 978-1-84113-849-7

I Goold, 'Regulating Reproduction in the United Kingdom: Doctors’ Voices, 1978–1985' in Imogen Goold and Catherine Kelly (eds), Lawyers’ Medicine: The Historical Interaction of Medicine and the Legislature, 1760-2000 (Hart Publishing 2009) [...]

This chapter examines the ethical debate from the early 1970s through to the end of the first parliamentary debate on the Unborn Children (Protection) Bill in 1985, and explores the role doctors played in it. When new technologies emerge now, much of the exploration of the issues they raise occurs within the now well-established academic field of bioethics, as well as within medicine and science themselves. But in 1978, bioethics as a discipline was in its infancy and there were few people specifically trained in exploring the ethical dimensions of science and how it should be regulated. There was little expertise to help those needing guidance on how to proceed. Yet, control was considered desperately necessary, either to prevent unethical research such as that which used human embryos, or to stave off developments that might be put to problematic uses like eugenic selection and surrogacy. At the time, scientists and doctors working in IVF and embryo research were characterised as unable to self-regulate, bent on pursuing their research goals regardless of the ethical objections to what they might achieve. However, in reality, many in the medical and scientific community both appreciated the ethical dilemmas their work presented, and welcomed regulation and guidance to help them deal with these problems. As a result, much of the debate about how IVF was to be controlled occurred within the medical profession, whose publicly voiced opinions in the science literature, news media and later as evidence to the Warnock Committee were highly influential. Doctors and researchers also made important contributions to the Parliamentary process that eventually led to the passage of legislation in 1990. This chapter brings this influence to the fore, and examines how doctors and medical researchers in this period bore very little resemblance to the mad scientists whose spectre was invoked by those who feared the worst.


ISBN: 978-1-84113-849-7

2008

J J W Herring, 'The Place of Carers' in M. Freeman (ed), Law and Bioethics ( 2008) [...]

A discussion of the legal status of carers


2001

J J W Herring, 'The Caesarean Section Cases and the Supremacy of Autonomy' in M. Freeman (ed), Law and Medicine (OUP 2001)

Edited books

2014

I Goold and others (eds), Persons, Parts and Property: How Should We Regulate Human Tissue in the 21st Century? (Hart Publishing 2014) (forthcoming)

2011

J J W Herring, M Richards, M Johnson and F Ebtehaj (eds), Birth Rites and Rights (Hart 2011) [...]

A book examining birth from a range of disciplines and perspectives


2009

I Goold and C Kelly (eds), Lawyers’ Medicine: The Historical Interaction of Medicine and the Legislature, 1760-2000 (Hart Publishing 2009) [...]

This book investigates how the requirements, limitations and intellectual structure of the British legal process have shaped medicine and medical practice. The story of this inter-relationship is greatly under-researched, which is particularly concerning given that the legal system remains a significant and pervasive influence on medicine and its practice to this day. The question which unifies the series of historical studies presented here is whether legal consideration of medical practice and concepts has played a part in the construction of medical concepts and affected developments in medical practice - in other words how the external, legal gaze has shaped the way medicine itself conceptualises some of its practices and classifications. The majority of the chapters consider this question in the context of the development and application of legislation, but the influence of court processes is also considered. Other themes which emerge from the book include the nature and exclusivity of medical expertise, the impact of public opinion on the development of medical legislation, and the difficulty the legal system has faced in dealing with new medical developments. The chapters are arranged chronologically, with an introduction drawing out themes that emerge from the chapters as a whole.


ISBN: 978-1-84113-849-7

Courses

The courses we offer in this field are:

Undergraduate

FHS - Final Year (Phase III)

The degree is awarded on the basis of nine final examinations at the end of the three-year course (or four years in the case of Law with Law Studies in Europe) and (for students who began the course in October 2011 or later) an essay in Jurisprudence written over the summer vacation at the end of the second year. Note: the Jurisprudence exam at the end of the third year is correspondingly shorter. This phase of the Final Honour School includes the first and second term of the final year; the Final Examinations are taken in the third term of the final year.

Medical Law and Ethics

This course covers selected legal, ethical and medical issues arising in medical practice and research. It focuses on issues of consent, autonomy and best interests of the patient and other interested parties, and how these create intersections with other areas of law, such as tort, criminal and personal property law.

Four core areas of medical law are covered: intentional torts and clinical negligence; reproductive medicine and rights; organ donation and transplantation; and end of life issues. Lectures cover both the legal and ethical issues arising in those areas of medicine, and assume knowledge of the relevant law already covered in the Law Moderations Criminal Law course, and the FHS Tort Law course. Students will be encouraged to take a critical approach and consider where the law may require reform, drawing on the legal and ethical literature to support their views. The course also includes lectures on reasoning in ethics, which will cover various methodologies in ethics for determining about how to act, to give students a grounding in how conclusions about ethical issues are reached (and critiqued), and on a range of issues in medical ethics not covered elsewhere in the course.

The subject is through five tutorials and a series of 20 lectures. The lectures are intended to be interactive and students should be expect to be called upon to participate in discussion and debate. Lectures will cover the syllabus, and a number of guest lecturers will also speak on topics of interest in medical ethics. These guests will include barristers, medical practitioners, religious leaders and members of the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics.

Diploma in Legal Studies

Medical Law and Ethics

This course covers selected legal, ethical and medical issues arising in medical practice and research. It focuses on issues of consent, autonomy and best interests of the patient and other interested parties, and how these create intersections with other areas of law, such as tort, criminal and personal property law.

Four core areas of medical law are covered: intentional torts and clinical negligence; reproductive medicine and rights; organ donation and transplantation; and end of life issues. Lectures cover both the legal and ethical issues arising in those areas of medicine, and assume knowledge of the relevant law already covered in the Law Moderations Criminal Law course, and the FHS Tort Law course. Students will be encouraged to take a critical approach and consider where the law may require reform, drawing on the legal and ethical literature to support their views. The course also includes lectures on reasoning in ethics, which will cover various methodologies in ethics for determining about how to act, to give students a grounding in how conclusions about ethical issues are reached (and critiqued), and on a range of issues in medical ethics not covered elsewhere in the course.

The subject is through five tutorials and a series of 20 lectures. The lectures are intended to be interactive and students should be expect to be called upon to participate in discussion and debate. Lectures will cover the syllabus, and a number of guest lecturers will also speak on topics of interest in medical ethics. These guests will include barristers, medical practitioners, religious leaders and members of the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics.

Postgraduate

BCL

Our taught postgraduate programme, designed to serve outstanding law students from common-law backgrounds

Medical Law and Ethics (not offered in 2013-14)

The Medical Law and Ethics course provides students with the opportunity to develop a critical understanding of the legal and ethical difficulties that arise in the provision of health care. The primary focus will be on UK law, but the issues to be covered have global relevance and we encourage students to contribute insights from other jurisdictions wherever possible. Students must be prepared to read many types of material and to consider how legal, ethical and policy issues interact. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Topics to be covered include consent to treatment, the regulation of medical research, confidentiality in the doctor-patient relationship, abortion, ownership of body parts and organ donation, death and dying, medical negligence, public health, and the rationing of health care resources in the UK National Health Service. As the course progresses, we will also encourage students to be aware of the current issues in medical research and healthcare provision that are being reported in the media.

The course will be taught by Dr Imogen Goold, Dr Jonathan Herring and Dr Jane Kaye with contributions from other members of the faculties of law and medicine in Oxford, and visiting speakers. There will be twelve seminars, eight in Michaelmas Term and four in Hilary Term, and four tutorials, one in Michaelmas and three in Trinity. The seminars will involve extensive class participation and the tutorials will provide an opportunity to practise essay writing and to prepare for the examination.

MJur

Our taught postgraduate programme, designed to serve outstanding law students from civil law backgrounds.

Medical Law and Ethics (not offered in 2013-14)

The Medical Law and Ethics course provides students with the opportunity to develop a critical understanding of the legal and ethical difficulties that arise in the provision of health care. The primary focus will be on UK law, but the issues to be covered have global relevance and we encourage students to contribute insights from other jurisdictions wherever possible. Students must be prepared to read many types of material and to consider how legal, ethical and policy issues interact. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Topics to be covered include consent to treatment, the regulation of medical research, confidentiality in the doctor-patient relationship, abortion, ownership of body parts and organ donation, death and dying, medical negligence, public health, and the rationing of health care resources in the UK National Health Service. As the course progresses, we will also encourage students to be aware of the current issues in medical research and healthcare provision that are being reported in the media.

The course will be taught by Dr Imogen Goold, Dr Jonathan Herring and Dr Jane Kaye with contributions from other members of the faculties of law and medicine in Oxford, and visiting speakers. There will be twelve seminars, eight in Michaelmas Term and four in Hilary Term, and four tutorials, one in Michaelmas and three in Trinity. The seminars will involve extensive class participation and the tutorials will provide an opportunity to practise essay writing and to prepare for the examination.


People

Medical Law and Ethics teaching is organized by a Subject Group convened by:

Imogen Goold: Associate Professor of Law and

Jonathan Herring: Professor of Law

in conjunction with:

Anne Davies: Professor of Law and Public Policy
Charles Foster: Research Associate, the Ethox Centre, Nuffield Department of Population Health
Kate Greasley: Stowell Junior Research Fellow in Law
Laura Hoyano: Associate Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, and Senior Research Fellow in Law at Wadham College
Jane Kaye: Director of the Centre for Law, Health and Emerging Technologies at Oxford: HeLEX

assisted by:

Andelka Phillips: DPhil Law student
Jesse Wall: DPhil Law student

Also working in this field, but not involved in its teaching programme:

Linda Briceno: Researcher in Law, HeLEX
Heather Gowans: Researcher in Law (Part-time), HeLEX
Heather Griffin: Researcher in Law, HeLEX
Paolo Ronchi: DPhil Law student
Luke Rostill: DPhil Law student


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