Health Law Courses – Common Law

Courses are listed in their language of instruction.
For more information including times please use the Common Law Course Search Engine.

CML1105A. Comparative Health Systems Law and Policy (1L thematic)
(Colleen Flood)

This course focuses on the impact of law on the health care we receive and in particular the impact of law (legislation, constitutional law, administrative law, international law, common law) in shaping Canada’s health care system. How do we decide what new services, drugs and technologies are publicly funded, and what are the legal avenues of appeal available to patients? How does the law contribute, at a systems-level, to ensuring the quality and safety of care delivered to Canadian patients? How and why has Canada’s health system failed Indigenous Peoples, and what role has the law played? What can the law do to improve upon wait times for care? Why does Canada not have a national insurance system for prescription drugs, long-term care, or dentistry and what can be done about these gaps in coverage? 
Delving into these and other live debates, students will gain an understanding of the legal framework of governance for Canada’s health care systems, the impact of federalism on health care policy, the differing impact of the right to health and health care how across jurisdictions and how ultimately all of this shapes the care received by Canadians. Student will also learn the importance of the dynamic relationship between law and policy and how to apply public law principles through analysis of Charter and administrative challenges to the Canadian health care system (no pre-existing knowledge is assumed of the Charter or administrative law).

CML1105F. Access and Benefit: Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge
(Chidi Oguamanam)

As the first objective, this perspective seminar is designed to introduce students to the various contexts for the use(s) of the knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities relating to genetic resources (plants, animals and other biological materials) and aspects of Aboriginal environmental stewardship and biodiversity conservation in the biotechnology, medicine, pharmaceuticals, foods, agriculture, beverages, cosmetics, health, personal care products and related industries and in various forms of research and development. As a second objective, it introduces students to the international and local legal and policy spaces on how access to those genetic resources and associated indigenous or traditional knowledge is negotiated to ensure there is fairness, justice and equity for indigenous peoples, industries/corporations, researchers and all stakeholders. The third objective of the seminar is to assist students understand the intersection of various complementary and competing legal regimes including Aboriginal law, traditional knowledge, intellectual property and 'biopiracy', environmental, biotechnology and even constitutional law around the subject of genetic resources. Finally, through the thematic, students are exposed to relevant fora on access and benefit sharing to genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Intellectual Property Organization along with the local legal and policy contexts for Aboriginal rights and the ongoing Reconciliation initiative in Canada. All together, the seminar will enable students to have insightful perspectives and advantage to inform their choice and performance in related upper year courses.

CML1105I. Immigration Health Law (1L thematic)
(Y.Y. Chen)

The first-year thematic course is designed to allow first-year students to broaden their knowledge of a specific topic in law. In this particular thematic course, students will be introduced to Canada's immigration/refugee and healthcare systems, and examines legal, ethical and policy issues that arise when these two fields intersect. Canvassing both domestic and international law, including Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Canada Health Act, and the International Bill of Human Rights, the course will consider such topics as public health related travel restrictions, medical inadmissibility, immigrant and refugee health care, medical tourism, and international migration of health care professionals. Through critical discussions of these issues, students are invited to explore how immigration and healthcare laws and policies contribute to social exclusion and inclusion, and how they affect equity both domestically and globally.

CML3375A. Medical-Legal Problems
(Vanessa Gruben)

This course will explore a wide range of legal issues arising in health care settings. Traditionally, the physician-patient relationship has been the focus of health law. This course will cover legal issues arising from that relationship such as consent, professional negligence, and the regulation of health professionals. However, relationships and issues at the broader systems level are the subject of increasing legal regulation and health law scholarship. We will address such systems level issues as constitutional claims relating to access to and funding of health care, medical research ethics, and the regulation of pharmaceuticals. We will also discuss a number of selected topics including reproductive health care, mental health law and end-of-life decision-making.

CML 3379A. Law and Psychiatry: Mental Health Law
(Jennifer Chandler)

This seminar addresses the legal issues related to mental health, mental disability, and neuroethics. First, we consider the laws and procedures of involuntary committal and treatment under provincial mental health legislation, capacity and substitute decision-making. The second part focuses on mental disorder in the criminal justice context, including findings of fitness to stand trial, findings that a person is not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder, sentencing options, mental health courts and therapeutic jurisprudence. The third segment addresses questions of human rights and social justice relating to mental health and mental disability. In the fourth part of the course we consider the future, and look at how advances in the behavioural sciences are raising challenging questions for neuroethics and for the law.

CML3509A. Introduction au droit de la santé
(Martha Jackman)

Ce cours vise à expliquer aux étudiants et étudiantes la structure du système de soins de santé au Canada selon une perspective critique. L’objectif est de fournir un cadre d’analyse solide et des outils utiles pour faire de la recherche et exercer dans le domaine tout en examinant les iniquités inhérentes au système et les questions d’accès. Dans cet optique, le cours traite de plusieurs thèmes : le cadre constitutionnel canadien, la santé des populations, l’assurance santé, l'organisation et la réglementation des professions de la santé, la responsabilité professionnelle et des hôpitaux, la santé publique, la santé mentale, les médicaments, les autochtones et la santé, l’accès pour les groupes défavorisés, et les litiges en matière de santé en vertu de la Charte canadienne.
Les étudiants et étudiantes choisissent et analysent un arrêt ou un thème d’actualité portant sur un sujet qui les intéressent particulièrement et présentent le fruit de leur recherche à la classe. Au cours des années précédentes, les sujets suivants ont été explorés : le contrôle des produits du tabac, le système de sang, la procréation médicalement assistée, le consentement aux soins, l’accès à l’avortement, le régime de santé des réfugiés, l’autonomie décisionnelle en fin de la vie, etc. 
Description officielle approuvée par le Sénat:
Une introduction à la structure du système de soins de santé canadien notamment le cadre constitutionnel, la réglementation fédérale, le rôle des provinces, le contrôle des coûts et le droit aux services de santé, l'organisation et la réglementation des professions de la santé, la responsabilité des hôpitaux, le système de santé publique, la santé des populations, la santé mentale, la recherche médicale, le consentement et la confidentialité.

CML4104A. Studies in Public Law: Law and Policy of Modern Plagues and Pestilence from Ebola to Obesity
(Colleen Flood)

At the heart of public health law and policy lies this basic question: to what extent can the state legitimately impinge on individual rights, in its efforts to promote or protect the health of the population? Controversies rage over public health policies such as proposals for a fat tax, banning super-sized portions of sugary or high-fat foods, reducing salt in our diets, elimination of tobacco advertising, GMO labeling, mandatory vaccinations (and alleged links with autism), fluoridation of the water supply, criminalization of HIV non-disclosure, scrutiny of individuals donating blood and ban on the sale thereof, gun control, safe-injection sites, the legalization of recreational marijuana etc. Areas of law engaged include statutory interpretation, criminal law, constitutional law, tort law, privacy law, and administrative law.
Those favouring a restricted role for public health speak of the importance of individual self-reliance, the problem of paternalism and the slippery slope of government intervention(s) that further erode individual liberties. Those in favor focus on improving the population’s health, the cost-effectiveness of deterrence over disease treatment, and the importance of promoting social justice and protecting the vulnerable both within nations and at the global level. In this course we will explore these conflicting views and their grounding in philosophical frameworks (libertarianism, libertarian paternalism, contractarian rights theory, egalitarian liberalism, utilitarianism, and communitarianism) and public health frameworks (police powers, human rights, civic models, harm reduction, precautionary principle, etc) and, in addition, consider the extent to which public health decision-making inculcates evidence about what works and doesn’t work. We will also explore the role of both domestic and international law in the formulation, execution, administration and frustration (through judicial challenge) of public health policy at national and global levels. These issues will be animated through case studies of, for example, different pandemics and communicable diseases, tobacco control and vaping, obesity control, decriminalization and subsequent regulation of recreational marijuana, blood safety, vaccinations, firearms control, and the opioid crisis. Students will develop a robust analytic lens for assessing public health law and policy, and hone their skills at forcefully advocating for or against particular initiatives.
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