Introduction: Health and the law

The interaction between law and health is vast and complex. The law regulates matters that would normally be considered health-related, such as in-vitro fertilisation, or the framework governing the operation of hospitals and community health centres. However, it also deals with less obvious things, as diverse as standards for the re-use of waste water and the licensing of pest-control operators.

This chapter deals with the areas of health law about which questions commonly arise. These are:

information and consent;

access to medical records;

privacy and confidentiality (e.g. between health practitioners and their consumers);

blood transfusions and organ transplants; and

making a complaint.