Dialogue on Health

Conference Dialogue on Health, Law & Society

On June 9, 2018, the Jean Monnett Healh Law & Policy Network sponsored two panels at the Law & Society Conference in Toronto. The conference highlights scholarship in sociolegal studies, an interdisciplinary field comprising law, political science, sociology, history, and more. It was an opportunity to highlight the enormous impact legal and regulatory decisions can have on the health and wellbeing of millions.

Speakers addressed issues at the forefront of the field, ranging from body enhancement to the consequences precision healthcare may have for the rights of patients. They represented institutions from across Europe, including Croatia, Italy, Spain, Denmark, and England. The panel abstracts and conference paper titles are presented below. You can also read discussion of the conference, including these two panels, on the #LSACA18 hashtag on twitter. 


Panel 1. Novel legal forms in health law

Health law has moved far from physician liability within the legal form of tort litigation. This panel explores various legal forms that health lawyers now encounter, across several jurisdictions. One important question is the legal status of the entities that make up a health system: are they private companies, state, or 'third sector' enterprises, and what are the consequences for health? Another important legal form is human rights, and concepts of patient autonomy. As 'health' blends into 'well-being', can a legal framework based on 'rights' make sense? Third, how do federal legal forms determine health entitlements and claims? Do provinces, regions secure health rights in ways distinct from central/federal bodies, charged with fiscal discipline? How do forms of administrative law, such as judicial review, support health?

Panel ChairCarol Heimer, Cardiff University 

Conference Papers & Presenters: 

Paradigmatic Shifts in Health Care: Body Enhancement and Regulatory Challenges in the UK
Nicola Glover-Thomas, University of Manchester

Right to Health Care in EU and Canada-Role of the Centre in Complex Entities
Tomislav Sokol, Zagreb School of Economics and Management 
 — Read the paper here.

Social enterprises delivering health care services within the European context: legal aspects, their relations with public authorities and their contribution to ensure a fair and universal right to health.
Alceste Santuari, University of Bologna

Termites of solidarity in the house of austerity
Scott Greer, University of Michigan
Eleanor Brooks, Edinburgh University

Panel 2. The challenges and opportunities of comparative health law

Most of the papers in this panel are part of a forthcoming OUP publication on comparative health law. Its research design involves contributors providing a comparative perspective in paired chapters. Each pair of chapters works from a review of the core moral, legal and scientific principles for the topic at hand, and develops a critical-analytical comparative examination of how lawmakers in different jurisdictions have balanced the different principles in shaping legal rules. This panel explores the reflexive practice that sits behind that critical-analytical process. What can we learn from how the diverse contexts in which health law is played out (state, nation state, federation, 'sui generis' polity, regional human rights organisation) affect how we, as scholars and teachers of health law, define, analyse and deploy our field.

Panel Chair: Elizabeth Sepper, Washington University School of Law

Conference Papers & Presenters: 

Access to assisted reproductive technologies and national margin of appreciation at the European law level: concerns and challenges
Joaquin Cayon-De las Cuevas, FMV-IDIVAL/University of Cantabria

Medical devices vs medicinal products: what is the impact of the recent European regulatory changes?
Aurelie Mahalatchimy, CNRS-DICE-CERIC-Aix-Marseille Université; University of Sussex

Precision medicine – patients’ rights at a crossroad?
Mette Hartlev, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen

The ‘where’ and ‘when’ of health law: how context shapes health law
Tamara Hervey, The University of Sheffield