The continuous technological development of healthcare provision coupled with the discovery of new diseases makes Medical Law an exciting and interesting specialism. The changing nature of medical research has resulted in an increasingly complex legal environment. The result is that those with an understanding of the legal and ethical implications of new developments are required to give advice and guidance to institutions and governments.
An LLM in Medical Law will cover a wide range of issues from healthcare law to biotechnology and ethics and law of the start and end of life care. This breadth of subject matter attracts many students from a number of different career and study backgrounds.Find LLM programs in Medical Law
1 year full time study
35 courses worldwide in LLM Medical Law
30,000 members of the Medical Defence Union sought medical legal advice in 2015
Studying for an LLM in Medical Law is an excellent choice for those who have recently completed a law degree and have an interest in healthcare provision. It is also suitable for those who are currently practicing medicine and want to gain a greater understanding of the legal implications of their profession.
There are a number of top institutions offering an LLM in Medical Law. Each one concentrates on different areas of the application of the law to healthcare. Some institutions will spend more time looking at medical ethics and others will look more closely at the legal implications of future medical research and technology. Here are some of the top institutions offering an LLM in Medical Law:
The University of Edinburgh is a prestigious institution in Scotland with a world-renowned law school. Their LLM in Medical Law and Ethics gives students an international understanding of the issues surrounding medical practice. This LLM can be studied either on campus or through a distance-learning program. The modules offered include medical consent, negligence and confidentiality, beginning and end of life issues, bio security and regulation of medical research. Queen Mary, University of London offers 20 different LLM courses for study, and their Medical Law LLM is one the most respected. The course primarily concentrates on the application of law to modern healthcare provision. It also aims to provide students with a good understanding of the different institutions involved in medical law and the relationship between them. The School of Law is located in Holborn near to many law firms, chambers and the Royal Courts of Justice. The distance-learning course offered at the University of Northumbria is another highly rated option. Concentrating on medical negligence, legal research and patient's rights this course provides a unique practice based learning experience. It is most suitable for those who are currently working in some capacity in the field of Medical Law and wish to improve their understanding.
Outside of the UK, The Dusseldorf Law School in Germany offers a full or part-time LLM in Health Law. The school has excellent links with local legal institutions and has an international reputation for legal research. The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland offers an LLM in Global Health Law and has close ties with Georgetown University in Washington DC. This gives students an excellent understanding of global legal health issues.
In the USA, Georgetown University Law Center has an international reputation for excellence and offers a variety of medical industry related LLMs. Based in Washington DC, this is an excellent place to study because of close links with American legal organisations and other institutions also based in Washington DC.
To study an LLM in Medical Law recent graduates will need a degree of law or a degree with a substantial legal element at the level of 2.1 or above with honours. Those applicants with a degree of law at the level of 2.2 with honours may be accepted if they have previous experience. Those without a first degree may also be accepted onto on LLM in Medical Law by some institutions based on previous experience and completion of a PG Cert in Medical Law. Apart from the high level of self-directed study, students will be analysing, discussing and comparing intricate legislation: therefore graduates whose first language isn’t English are required to have high IELTS (or equivalent) scores of 7 or above or TOEFL: 107 or above. Because of ongoing changes in the law we advise international students to regularly check the UKBA website to make sure they can fulfil the necessary requirements. Most individual institutions also have useful information on the Tier 4 requirements for international students, and can offer assistance in terms of student queries about their specific English language requirements.
Zoe King completed an LLM in Medical Law and Ethics at the University of Edinburgh in 2015. She believes that completing the LLM has placed her in an excellent place to apply for positions in international health bodies, research committees and law advisory roles.
Governmental Health Policy
Medical Defence Unions
Medical Advisor for a law firm
1. The best known stating of medical ethics is the Hippocratic Oath. It is attributed to the Greek physician Hippocrates in the 4th Century BC.
2. The Declaration of Geneva is known as the modern Hippocratic Oath and was adopted in 1948 at the Second World Medical Assembly.
3. In the US medical negligence is the 3rd leading cause of death.
4. Medical malpractice is the violating of the general standard of care as set by the medical profession.
5. In medical research the human subject must give their consent voluntarily. This concept is called the Nuremberg Code and was established during the Nuremberg Trials after the Second World War.
Medical Law and Ethics by Jonathan Herring
Medical Law: Texts, Cases and Materials by Emily Jackson
Texts, Cases and Materials on Medical Law and Ethics by Marc Stauch and Kay Wheat
Medical Ethics, A Very Short Introduction by Tony Hope
Medicine, Patients and the Law by Margaret Braizer and Emma Cave
Great Debates in Medical Law and Ethics by Imogen Goold and Jonathan Herring