The Law of Public Health and Care
Full course description
Healthcare has never been more exciting. We understand more about individual and public health than ever before, at much deeper levels, and we are able to translate that knowledge into treatments and products that make an enormous impact on individual citizens’ lives. Expectations are, therefore very high, as are the increasing costs of this revolution. In the current economic environment, healthcare is a major political question, and the legal safeguards that are in place both to ensure that public health is able to operate effectively and that protect individual patients’ rights are highly important and are contested. Examples of public health threats and the need for coherent safeguards of individual’s rights and freedoms regularly hit the news. Food standards are called into question, for example, with unregulated horsemeat being passed off as beef. Influenza epidemics are regularly reported as likely. Immunization for a wide range of diseases is possible. Epidemiological research using data gathered through eHealth initiatives challenge established ideas about privacy. Personalised medicine begins to question the meaning of ‘public health’ when it becomes clearer that individual responses are more effective than collective approaches. Each of these calls the traditional ideas about public health, the rights and expectations of individuals that have to be safeguarded, and what safeguards are acceptable in modern society.
With respect to knowledge and insight, students acquire knowledge about: Public Health law in international, European and domestic settings; The nature of law, and broad legal principles behind the law’s contribution to public health; Particularly about the way that different types of procedures are used to regulate the public health (e.g. medical committees and officials, criminal law, privacy, public interest arguments, etc.); Other normative considerations relating to framing public health responses; How public health responses operate. With respect to application of knowledge and insight, students are trained to: Read and understand legal documents (particularly treaties and European legislation, and guidance documents and codes of practice); Understand how legal and ethical arguments are constructed at different points in relation to public health, particularly how human rights decisions are made at the European Court of Human Rights; Apply these insights to ‘live’ public health issues. With respect to formation of a judgment, students are trained to: Consider the difference between life science, medical, political, legal and ethical judgments; Consider how each type of judgment is constructed; Consider how different judgments are given authority and enforced in society. With respect to learning and communication skills, students are trained to: Construct effective, logical and evidenced arguments to influence political decision-makers; Consider how far discussion can be useful in the creation of normative arguments and responses; Develop effective skills in presenting arguments.
• Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. (2000) Official Journal of the European Communities 18.12.2000/C364/01–22 • Convention for the Protection of Human Right and Fundamental Freedoms (1950; and subsequently amended) • Universal Declaration of Human Rights • EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 • Helsinki Declaration (1964) with the fifth revision (2000) (WHO) • Bynum; W. (2008) The History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press • Mossialos; E.; et al. (2010) Health Systems Governance in Europe: the Role of EU Law and Policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press