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Health Law Courses

 

We offer the largest range of health law courses in Canada

Go deep into an area of interest. Engage critically with contentious issues in health law and policy. Participate in a practice-based placement to work with and learn from health law practitioners. Learn more about the options open to you during your JD degree:

LAWS 2192 - Advanced Negligence: Medical Malpractice

Refer to the academic calendar for current class description.

This course will examine, from a theoretical perspective, issues of potential liability of hospitals, health care professionals, product suppliers, and governments for their respective roles in the provision of health services. Topics covered may include: the learned intermediary rule; non-delegable duties and vicarious liability; tort/contract overlap; the fault standard and comprehensive compensation for injury; potential government liability, especially re the blood supply and sexual sterilization; reproductive technologies and malpractice; and issues of consent, including capacity of minors and those with mental impairment to consent to treatment. 

Evaluation: Major research paper, class presentation, and class participation.

Prerequisite(s): None

2015-16 Instructor: Elaine Gibson

LAWS 2069/70/71/72 - Directed Research Paper

Refer to the academic calendar for current class description.

A third year student may undertake an original research project for credit under the direction of a faculty member. The topic must be one that falls outside the parameters of seminar classes offered in the year, and there must be a faculty member willing to supervise the paper. Students should consult faculty web profiles to ascertain faculty research interests. A student who is interested in doing a DRP should have demonstrated, in written assignments already completed in the law school, ability for independent research and writing. Third year students may undertake a Directed Research Paper (DRP) of 3, 4, 5, or 6 credit hours, under the supervision of a faculty member. For third year students a proposal for a 3 credit hour DRP must be approved by the Assistant Dean, Academic, while a proposal of 4, 5, or 6 credit hours must be approved by the Studies Committee. DRPs are intended for third year students, where approved. Second year students are granted permission to do a DRP only in exceptional circumstances and must obtain permission from the Studies Committee.

Credit: The Committee will consider the proposal and the prior performance of the student in Law School, plus any other relevant factors, in making its decision. A DRP for 3 credit hours would be of greater scope and depth than a paper submitted for a regular class, and the student's research and writing would be expected to be of very high quality. A student, with the consent of the faculty member concerned, may apply to the Studies Committee for permission to undertake a DRP for 4-6 credit hours, depending on the quality and extent of the work to be done. Four or five credit hours would be given for projects requiring research in greater depth than is required for a 3 credit hour DRP. Six credit hours may only be given for work of highest quality, of some originality, and prepared for presentation to faculty and students in seminars or workshops to be arranged. It is likely that 6 credit hours would be given only for projects extending over both terms. 

Grading: The number of credit hours and the term or terms in which the DRP is completed will be determined by the Studies Committee, in consultation with the faculty member and the student, when the DRP is for more than 3 credit hours.

Prerequisite(s): None

 

LAWS 2115 - Health Care Ethics and the Law

Refer to the academic calendar for current class description.

The purpose of this class is to develop an understanding of health law and health care ethics and the relationship between law and ethics. Topics vary by the year but those covered in past years include stem cell research, state intervention in the lives of pregnant women, HIV/AIDS and the duty to disclose, intersex surgery, pluralism and multiculturalism in health care, resource allocation, and death and dying. Each issue is examined in an effort to determine what the law is and what the law ought to be. 

Evaluation: Major research paper and exercises

Prerequisite(s): None

Not on offer for 2015-16

LAWS 2132 - Health Law

Refer to the academic calendar for current class description.

This class surveys critical issues and contemporary debates in the health law field.  Students are introduced to the Canadian health system and the regulation of health providers.  Other topics may include: medical negligence, informed decision-making, health information, reproduction, public health, mental health, death and dying, biomedical research, health technologies, public health and the health of indigenous peoples.  

Evaluation: Examination

Prerequisite(s): None

2015-16 Instructor: Joanna Erdman

LAWS 2193 - Health Law and Policy: Current Issues

Refer to the academic calendar for current class description.

This course offers an opportunity for students to engage critically with a set of lectures in health law and policy offered through the Health Law Institute seminar series. These lectures are presented by distinguished guest speakers from a variety of scholarly disciplines and professional fields related to health law and policy. Students enrolled in this course for academic credit are required to do readings in advance and to attend each monthly seminar and accompanying tutorial. They will also write a series of reaction papers as well as a minor paper 15-20 pages in length.

The content of this course changes from year to year, depending on the speakers and issues selected for presentation. Recent topics have included conscientious objection by health care providers; euthanasia; mental health courts; medical science in the courtroom; legislating for catastrophic risk; and HIV testing, disclosure, and prosecution.

Students should review the series announcement available in late-August for a list of dates, speakers, and topics to be covered in the upcoming year. 

Note:  This course runs over two terms.

Evaluation: Reaction papers (3-4 pages each); one minor paper (15-20 pages); seminar and tutorial attendance and participation

Prerequisite(s): None

2015-16 Instructor: Michelle Black

LAWS 2167 - Health Law Placement

Refer to the academic calendar for current class description.

This placement offers students a practice-based opportunity to work with and learn from health law practitioners. Students will assist in the work of Placement Organizations by conducting legal research, writing and other substantive tasks as requested. Students are required to spend an average of nine hours per week on placement work. Placement Supervisors will assign substantive work to students, monitor students’ fulfillment of the course requirements, and consult with the Faculty Supervisor in relation to student evaluation. Students will be evaluated based on their performance in the placement, including assessment of written work. This course does not fulfill the major paper requirement.

One placement is offered per term with each of the following organizations: the Capital District Health Authority, IWK Health Centre, and the Legislative Branch of the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness.

Application and Selection: Interested students must apply to the Faculty Supervisor, in writing, by June 19 for placements in the upcoming academic year (both Fall and Winter terms). Applications shall consist of a written statement of the student’s interest and experience in health law, and a copy of the student’s law school transcript. The Faculty Supervisor will select students based on academic standing and demonstrated interest and experience in health law.

Students enrolled in Health Law 2132.03 in the Fall term who wish to apply for a placement in the Winter term of the same academic year must contact the Faculty Supervisor directly. Please note these placements will be subject to requirements of adequate notice and availability.

Credit: 3

Enrollment: One placement per term with each organization.

Evaluation: Honours/Pass/Fail

Prerequisite(s): Health Law

2015-16 Faculty Supervisor: Joanna Erdman

LAWS 2159 - Health Systems Law and Policy

Refer to the academic calendar for current class description.

Traditionally, health law scholarship has focused on the physician-patient relationship; however, increasingly, lawyers are turning their attention to larger system issues and the complex web of relationships between governments, private insurers, doctors and other health professionals, public and private hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and patients.

This course will focus on the structure and dynamics of Canada’s healthcare system. It will locate Canada’s system amongst the variety of approaches taken internationally to the financing and allocation of health insurance and health services and to the regulation of the quality of health services.

Issues to be explored include what different theories of distributive justice demand in terms of access to healthcare, the extent of market failure in health insurance and health service markets, how to determine what services are publicly funded and means of review of these decisions, how to ensure the accountability of decision-makers, why the present system fails Aboriginal peoples, regulation of privately financed healthcare (in vitro services, drugs, medical equipment, home care, etc.), the shift from institutional care to care in the home, the need for reform of the medical malpractice system, managed care, and general issues of privatization, deregulation and reregulation.

Credit: 3

Evaluation: Major research paper (60%), policy formulation and reflection exercise (30%), general class participation (10%)

Prerequisite(s): None

Not on offer for 2015-16

LAWS 2127/2128 - Mental Disability Law: Civil

Refer to the academic calendar for current class description.

This seminar concentrates on issues involving those who are described as having a mental health problem or an intellectual disability. The class surveys many central topics, including the history and conceptualization of mental disorder, international human rights law, substantive and constitutional aspects of involuntary civil commitment, the legal response to alleged incompetence, the right to treatment and to refuse treatment, misuses of power and remedies, and advocacy services. Students are encouraged to develop their understanding of the rules and policies of the legal system and to heighten their awareness of this form of inequality and discrimination. 

Credit: 2 or 3 credit hours
Note: Registration processes and waitlists are set up separately for each of the 2-credit and 3-credit options.

Grading: Major paper (3 credit hours) or term assignments (2 credit hours); a class presentation and class participation are also required for each student. Please note: registration processes and waitlists are set up separately for each of the 2-credit and 3-credit options.

Prerequisite(s): None

Not on offer for 2015-16

LAWS 2235/2236 - Mental Disability Law: Criminal

Refer to the academic calendar for current class description.

This seminar provides an opportunity for students to explore the range of complex issues at the intersection of mental disability and criminal justice. Persons with mental health problems and intellectual disabilities have tended to be overrepresented in criminal courts and prisons and have been poorly served by institutions that concentrate on conventional concepts of moral blameworthiness and punishment.

The course covers a wide range of topics, which vary from year to year, such as an introduction to mental disorder, intellectual disability and the criminal justice system; historical overview; the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Criminalization: causes and potential responses; not criminally responsible and unfitness determinations and dispositions; mental health courts; youth, mental disability and crime; Intellectual disability and the justice system; Mental disorder in sentencing; corrections law; concurrent disorders (mental health and substance abuse morbidities) or dual diagnoses (mental health problems and intellectual disabilities); Specific challenges, such as anti-social personality disorders and sexual paraphilias; policing; and recent criminal law “reforms”.

Credit: 2 or 3 credit hours
Note: Registration processes and waitlists are set up separately for each of the 2-credit and 3-credit options.

Evaluation: Major paper (3 credit hours) or term assignments (2 credit hours); a class presentation and class participation are also required for each student

Prerequisite(s): None

2015-16 Instructor: Archibald Kaiser

LAWS 2221 - Public Health Law

Refer to the academic calendar for current class description.

Protection of the public's health has historically been one of the critical functions of the State; witness early laws regarding quarantine, sanitation, and food quality control. Both SARS and HIV have served as recent wake-up calls to remind us of the importance of regulation in the control of infectious disease outbreaks. The prevalence of obesity and diabetes prompts some to recommend state intervention in hitherto-unchecked areas of life often considered private. How is the balance to be set vis-à-vis state interference when juggling the values of individual liberty, privacy interests, protection of the public, and the promotion of health? This course examines these legal and ethical issues via the above topics as well as some of the following: compulsory testing and treatment for infectious disease; vaccination; drug and tobacco control; surveillance and research; genetics; maternity and parenting; and environmental impacts on health.

Credit: 3

Evaulation: Major research paper, class presentation, and class participation

2015-16 Instructor: Elaine Gibson

International Exchange Program - Health Law

Refer here for complete information.

This program is intended to give students under the umbrella of the NACLE exchanges, the opportunity to study law (with an emphasis in health law) at one of the leading Health Law programs in the United States.

Students who have completed two years of full-time study may spend one semester at the University of Houston and receive full credit towards their degree at Dalhousie. Health Law classes offered at Houston include the following: Biotechnology and the Law, Correctional Health Law, Disabilities and the Law, Food and Drug Law, Forensic Medicine, Genetics and the Law, Health Care Finance and Policy, Health Care Law and Aging, Health Care Rationing, Legal Aspects of Bioethics, Medical Malpractice litigation, Occupational Health Law, Public Health Law, Regulation of Health Car Professionals, Law and Psychiatry, Law and Psychology, Regulation of Biomedical Research, Reproductive Health Law, Toxic Tort Litigation.

Please note that health law courses taken at the University of Houston on exchange will not count towards a Dalhousie certificate in Health Law and Policy specialization.

COORDINATOR: Health Law Institute faculty
ENROLMENT: Limited to 2 students per term

Credit: Up to 14

Evaulation:  Dependent on classes at Houston 

Prerequisite: Health Law