This seminar explores the dynamic and challenging field of health law, with a focus on practical issues. The course provides a survey of the legal framework and policy considerations underlying the cornerstone areas of health law, including: consent to treatment; mental capacity and substitute decision-making; professional regulation and governance; medical malpractice; emergency management and civil protection; and health information privacy. Practical and topical issues will be explored in the areas of: elder law (issues in long-term care facilities, retirement homes); the law of medical assistance in dying in Canada; human rights in health care; hospitals and health care facilities (including physician privileges, employment issues and tensions between administrators, healthcare professionals and other stakeholders); pandemic and emergency management; reproductive health and surrogacy; and research ethics.
Typical seminars will cover substantive law including case law and statutes, as well as policy issues and professional responsibility concerns. Students are expected to actively participate via class discussion and a class presentation. Guest speakers will provide unique perspectives on particular topics. Students will be asked to attend (in person or through electronic means) a hearing in the health law field and to reflect on that proceeding in a midterm written paper. Through readings, class discussion and assignments, students will gain a foundation for a dedicated health law practice or an analytical framework for addressing health law issues as they arise in other practice areas.