Law, medical ethics and social justice

By | 1 November 2012

As  the news constantly reminds us, there is a world of difficult issues out there when it comes to life (both as to its beginnings and its end), and what is the appropriate response to ill health which might appear anywhere in between, and how to establish what conditions can/should/must be cured – and who or what should pay  (private  money/insurance/public purse).

This year, in the UK, Tony Nicklinson (more background is available from the BBC website) gave the dilemma both an acute human angle and a court case.
The pdf of the High Court’s judgment  [2012] EWHC 2381 (Admin) is freely available.

The Oxford Law Faculty has arranged a talk for interested Oxford University students on Friday 16 November at 5pm in the SCR of Oxford Law Faculty entitled “No Exit: Did the English Legal System fail Tony Nicklinson?” The speakers will be Charles Foster, council for the Interveners Care Not Killing; Professor Jonathan Herring who teaches law and medical ethics here, and David Albert Jones, Director of the Anscombe Centre, Research Fellow in Bioethics at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, Visiting Professor at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham and is Vice Chair of the Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee.

But the various issues are of course not unique to the UK, and the existence (or not) of “a right to health” has been considered by international lawyers since at least the 1970s.

The Bodleian Law Library is not short of reading material in this area! My colleague, Kathryn,  has written a Libguide on the topic to lead Law Library users into available sources.

Law Bod Libguide

If you would like to search SOLO (Oxford Online Catalogue Search Engine) for more resoures on the topic, try subject searches using these terms:

Health services accessibility – law and legislation
Medical care – law and legislation
Medical laws and legislation, International
Right to health

Below is one title that arrived in the Library only last week!

Medicine & Social Justice (2nd ed, 2012) Jurisp 510 R477.5a2

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