Lawrence O. Gostin and Phil Fennell

in The Oxford Handbook of Legal Studies

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780199248179
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

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Health law can be viewed as comprising several distinct, but overlapping, areas of interest: the health care system, the therapeutic relationship, and the public health system. These three spheres do not represent the entire range of issues dealt with by health law scholars, but they are among the most prominent. This article analyzes the major tensions and trade-offs that occur, explicitly or implicitly, in each of these three areas. The theory is that individual liberty interests often clash with collective interests in health and security. The law mediates between these two sets of interests. The article first examines the health care system — that is, the organization, financing, and delivery of personal medical services. Next it considers the therapeutic relationship — that is, the complex ways in which patients and health care professionals (principally doctors) interact. Finally, it discusses public health law, which principally involves government duties and powers to assure the conditions in which populations can be healthy.

Keywords: health law; health care system; therapeutic relationship; public health system; public health law

Article.  8506 words. 

Subjects: Law ; Medical and Healthcare Law

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