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Health Law

Health Law

Commentary and materials

3rd edition

Edited by Peter MacFarlane


MacFarlane brings together the law as it relates to health law and medico-legal issues. The focus is on the case law and statutory provisions which regulate the relationship between the health care provider and the patient/client. There are extensive extracts to support the commentary and the coverage takes in all Australian jurisdictions as well as New Zealand.

The wide variety of topics in the book have been expanded in this edition to give much fuller reference to New Zealand and to cover (by a new chapter) professionalism, ethics and complaints.

Students of health law in the nursing and health administration areas will find the book as relevant as students studying health law as part of a law degree.


An introduction to the Australian legal system
The regulation of health care in Australia
The corporate nature of health care delivery
Consent to treatment
Records and confidentiality
The impact of the criminal law
Organ and tissue transplantation
Provisions relating to drugs and poisons
Professionalism, ethics and complaints

Table of Cases/ Table of Statutes/ Index


"[A] scholarly work dealing with the legal system, the regulatory framework for the health system and some of the major issues that arise for health providers. …
[T]here is a useful discussion of the legal liability of doctors in relation to negligence, access to medical records and legislative requirements dealing with organ and tissue donation. Of great assistance are the references through the book to the various statutory provisions that apply in each of the states and territories, which will be very useful for doctors …
Of some interest is the chapter in the text dealing with the 'corporate nature of health care delivery'. This is a growing issue …"

ANZ Journal of Surgery, Vol 71 No 8, 2001

"The chapter on negligence is of particular value … The extent of the duty fully to warn a patient of all the possible consequences of a particular treatment is examined in depth.

It is not possible to mention all the matters of topical interest referred to, but a few examples may be quoted: whether there is a duty to assist a stranger in need of assistance (rescue); badly written prescriptions; access to patients' records; organ and tissue transplants; advertising guidelines; the liability of a hospital for claims arising from operations carried out at that hospital. …
It is clear that this book is primarily written for students; but, in view of the present increase in litigation against doctors and hospitals, it will also be found to be useful and instructive to practitioners, doctors and hospital administrators."

Law Society of Tasmania Newsletter, November 2000

"[A] good introduction for [legal] practitioners working in this emerging area. The book is targeted at law students and people working in the health care industry, but the detail is good enough to be of use to a practitioner working for the health care industry."

Proctor (Qld Law Society), July 2000

"[A] well-organised, informative and readable overview of some of the important cases relating to health law and medical-legal issues. …
The book is easy to read, clear, precise. …
Students of health law, in the nursing and health administration area, would the book as relevant to them as it would be to students studying health law as part of a law degree."

Law Institute Journal (Vic), July 2000


Published March 2000
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781862873575
Australian RRP $44.95
International Price $40.00
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Out of print

Law - Health Law
Law - New Zealand

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