Health law is the law governs health care for individuals and for the public. This can include insurance coverage, direct health care, ethical issues related to health care, drug supply and the providers of health care. Health law can include laws that govern issues relating to public health as well as medical health for people who are ill. Health law is enforced at the federal, state and local government levels. Only certain lawyers who are trained specifically in health law can work within the health law sphere of law.
A lawyer that practices health law must obtain additional knowledge through education to become certified to specialize in health law. Often lawyers wanting to work as a health lawyer need to return to university to undertake a masters degree to be fully qualified to give advise and represent clients in the area of health law. A health lawyer can work with individual clients or for hospitals, doctors, pharmacies or insurance companies.
Popular Areas of Health Law
Medical law relates specifically to rights and responsibilities of medical professionals and their patients. Medical law covers areas such as confidentiality between patients and medical practitioners, ethics and negligence. If there is harm done to a patient from a medical professional then the case becomes an issue of medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice is an area of health law relating to medical treatment. It is the negligence or malpractice of a medical professional that led to injury or death of a patient. This can include when a doctor makes a mistake with their diagnosis or the treatment drugs that they prescribe. Medical malpractice cases that go to court are usually civil cases. Although, occasionally the medical professional is charged with a criminal crime of malpractice and the case is held as a criminal case in court.
Public Health Law
Public health law pertains to issues that affect the well being of the general public. Public health law aims to improve the well being and level of health within the population. The issues that can affect public health are typically disease and disease prevention. One way that many diseases have been controlled or eradicated from the general population is through mandatory vaccinations that are required by law of all children.