Dal Alert!

Receive alerts from Dalhousie by text message.



Welcome New Director Matthew Herder!

Feb 2017
We are pleased to have Associate Professor Matthew Herder take over the helm of the Health Law Institute.  His calm and steady hand will steer the Institute well in the coming years.  Our thanks and very best wishes go to former Director Constance MacIntosh as she begins her well-earned sabbatical.

2nd International Conference on End of Life Law, Ethics, Policy, and Practice

September 13-15, 2017
Halifax, Nova Scotia

We are delighted to announce this coming conference in 2017.  Your hosts, the Dalhousie Health Law Institute, the Australian Health Law Research Centre at the Queensland University of Technology, and the leading European end of life care research groups, invite you to join us for a thought-provoking, informative, and timely program on a broad range of end of life issues.  This multidisciplinary, multisectoral, and multinational conference will include empirical evidence, legal analysis, and ethical analysis of many of the most pressing and vexing issues of our time. Hear from leading experts from around the world.  Engage with others wrestling with the challenges of end of life care.  Reflect on lessons learned from experiences in various jurisdictions (including Canada being one year after the implementation of new federal medical assistance in dying legislation).  Join us for a 2 1/2 day deep dive into palliative care, stopping/not starting potentially life-sustaining treatment, terminal sedation, and medical assistance in dying.


2016 Community of Graduates

Congratulations to Jennifer Crewe, Kirby Hayes, Elizabeth Legge, Lauren Soubolsky, Meryn Steeves, Kirsanne Stout, Brett Taylor, Cassie Taylor, Jenn Teryn, Jamie Watson, Cherie Wheeler, and Leslie Whittaker who received specialization certificates in Health Law and Policy upon convocating with their Juris Doctor degrees in Law on May 30, 2016.  They join over 100 alumni of our specialization program!

Brett Taylor was the recipient of the 2015-16 Robert G. Elgie Health Law and Policy Paper Prize.  This prize is awarded to the third-year law student graduating in the Health Law and Policy Specialization Program having the highest grade point average in health law courses counted toward the specialization.

Emily Hansen received the Rozovsky Health Law and Policy Paper Prize. This prize is awarded to a law student who writes the best research paper on a health law and policy topic in the course of an academic year. 

Kudos to Annabritt Chisholm who graduated from the combined Juris Doctor (JD)/Master of Health Administration (MHA) program. This is an intensive four-year course of study and students are required to meet the entrance and graduation requirements of both the Schulich School of Law and the School of Health Administration in the Faculty of Health Professions.

Best wishes to our two health law and policy students who convocated with their Master of Laws (LLM) degrees.  Clark Colwell's thesis was titled, "Justified Outbreak: Bringing Together Law, Public Health and Ethics during an Infectious Disease Emergency," and Claire McNeil's thesis was titled, "Conformity or Contradiction: international Health Rights in Canadian Courts." 

Well done everyone!

2016 Notes of Congratulation!

William Lahey named 25th President of University of King's College

Joanna Erdman appointed Chair of the Global Health Advisory Committee

Jocelyn Downie appointed Dalhousie University Research Professor (July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2021)

7th National Health Law Conference

Nov 19-21, 2015
Ottawa, ON

Is health law ready to respond to emerging challenges?  Will our laws evolve to meet the needs of aging baby-boomers?  What does the future hold for Canadian laws governing assisted suicide? Will the Canada Health Act withstand upcoming Charter challenges?  How will the advent of Obamacare affect Canadian Medicare?  Will the law evolve to address the risks associated with new technologies such as robotic surgery, advances in reproductive science, and social media?  At the global level, are international laws ready to assist in containing superbugs, protecting the health of migrants, and controlling tobacco uptake in the developing world?  This conference brought together leading researchers from across Canada and the world to discuss, debate and frame these and other emerging trends.

Further conference info:  www.commonlaw.uottawa.ca/health-law.


Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship - Jocelyn Downie 

In September 2015, Dr. Downie was Nova Scotia's first recipient of this prestigious research fellowship. Dr. Downie receives $225,00 over three years to research law, policy and practice around end-of-life care in Canada.  She will bring together academics and practitioners from law, ethics, and health care, to wrestle with complex and controversial issues and propose changes to law, policy and practice; all the fhile with a focus on the ultimate goal of helping society care deeply and effectively for the dying. 

Congratulations on 2015 Law Teaching Awards!

Joanna Erdman, Assistant Professor
Hanna & Harold Barnett Award for Excellence in Teaching First Year Law

William Lahey, Associate Professor
Dalhousie Law Students' Society & Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Teaching Law

January 22, 2015

Health Law Institute Statement on Electronic Montoring of Forensic Mental Health Patients

View Press Release from the NS Department of Health and Wellness  and
Report Prepared by the Dalhousie Health Law Institute for the NS Department of Health and Wellness

"It is our conclusion that the use of electronic monitoring in this context would be unlikely to withstand legal challenge. This conclusion is based on our review of the Criminal Code, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

We took into consideration the Criminal Code factors that govern the conditions placed on forensic patients, including the paramountcy of public safety ​and the requirement of attentiveness to the mental condition of the individual and his or her successful reintegration into society. Our conclusion reflected the requirements of the Criminal Code ​as well as those of the Charter and the Human Rights Act, and the limited evidence that Electronic Monitoring may serve to enhance public safety. We also considered the changes implemented at the East Coast Forensic Hospital immediately following Raymond Taaval’s death, as well as the changes that the Hospital made when it adopted the recommendations that were identified within the external review that followed Mr. Taaval’s death."

- Constance MacIntosh, Director, Dalhousie Health Law Institute