Legal Governance of Health Care (Winter 2004)
This course will introduce students to the legal frameworks within which health care providers and institutions deliver and patients receive care, specifically, those applicable in dealing with patients, in hospitals and other health care facilities and in research. Students will gain a working knowledge of and develop critical perspectives on relevant statutory regimes and as well, will apply that knowledge to specific problems in the areas covered. The course will focus on the legal mechanisms governing health care delivery. Topics covered will fall into six general areas: federal and provincial governance of health care; professional self-regulation; civil liability of health care providers and institutions; hospitals and other health care facilities; vulnerable populations and the governance of research. There will be particular reference to the situation of vulnerable populations (including minors and those otherwise decisionally incapable) and the implications of privatization. Students will examine the current fault-based malpractice regime and “no fault” alternatives; issues in self-regulation; the regulation responsibilities and liabilities of hospitals and other health care institutions, regulation of drugs and devices, restrictions on and consent to experimental and innovative testing and treatment, and discrimination in the provision of health services. Consideration will be given not only to the ways health care delivery is governed and constrained, but also to the broader implications of the issues raised, and to the effect that underlying paradigms (for instance, relative to health, disability or the role of health care providers) may have had in shaping the political and legal responses.