Medical law

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Medical law is the branch of law which concerns the prerogatives and responsibilities of medical professionals and the rights of the patient.[1] It should not be confused with medical jurisprudence, which is a branch of medicine, rather than a branch of law.

The main branches of medical law are the law of torts (most notably medical malpractice) and criminal law in relation to medical practice and treatment. Ethics and medical practice is a growing field.[2][3]


The first medical law recorded was the Code of Hammurabi, which said; "If a physician makes a large incision with the operating knife, and kill him, ... his hands shall be cut off."[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Topic: Medical Law". City University Law School - Lawbore. Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
  2. ^ "Medical blunders cost NHS billions". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  3. ^ Pattinson, Shaun, D. Medical law & ethics (5th ed.). London. ISBN 9780414060272. OCLC 991642701.
  4. ^

Notable cases[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Annas, G. J. (2012). "Doctors, Patients, and Lawyers — Two Centuries of Health Law". New England Journal of Medicine. 367 (5): 445–450. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1108646. PMID 22853015.