The Study and Teaching of Canadian Health Law and Policy

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Health Law, Health Policy, Canada


Much scholarly writing in the field of health law and policy asks whether health law coheres as a field of law. This chapter begins with a different set of questions more relevant to the readers of this text. How do we teach health law when it does not cohere around the traditional attributes of a legal field? What do we seek to achieve in the study of health law?

These questions are asked more in the spirit of exploration than in an effort to problem-solve given that the study and teaching of health law and policy in Canadian law schools is strong and diverse. Almost 100 health law courses are listed in common and civil law programs in 23 law schools across Canada. These courses capture a range of subject matter, theory and method, revealing great diversity in what is understood by the terms "health" and "law" in Canadian legal education.