Medical Law

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Emily Jackson


This course is available on the BA in Anthropology and Law and LLB in Laws. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available to General Course students.

Course content

Medical law is a rapidly developing and increasingly important subject. The rationing of expensive new drugs, and the future of the NHS have become central political issues.  New technologies, such as genome editing, egg freezing and face transplants, are invariably accompanied by demands for their regulation. In this course we examine the legal framework within which health services are provided, and we explore some of the difficult legal and ethical dilemmas that arise when determining the limits of medical innovation.

Subjects include resource allocation; public health; malpractice litigation; consent; mental capacity; mental health law; confidentiality; clinical research; the regulation of medicines; organ transplantation; embryo and stem cell research; abortion; assisted conception; preimplantation genetic diagnosis; surrogacy and assisted dying.


10 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour of classes in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT and 1 essay in the LT.

Indicative reading

Jackson, Medical Law: Text, Cases and Materials, 5th edition (Oxford UP, 2019).


Take-home assessment (50%) and take-home assessment (50%).

Two take-home assessments worth 50% each. The first will take place between MT and LT, and the second will take place between LT and ST.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2018/19: 99

Average class size 2018/19: 12

Capped 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills