Health Law Courses

Six core curriculum tracks in health law

Students may choose to concentrate their health law studies in different health-related legal disciplines. The courses included on the chart below reflect curriculum tracks for in-depth exploration of legal issues involving bioethics, health regulation, health-related technologies, public health and the environment, social welfare related to health, and international health and human rights.

Descriptions of core health law courses are included after the course chart.

Curriculum Track Description Health Law Courses Related Electives
Law, Medicine & Bioethics The tension between patients’ rights and the obligations of health care professionals has generated national public debates over such issues as the right to refuse treatment, tort reform, abortion and reproductive issues, and medical experiments with human subjects.
  • Bioethics & the Law
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Health Law: Quality and Access
  • Health Law Seminar
  • Human Subjects Research, Law & Ethics
  • Law and Mental Health
  • Constitutional Law II: Individual Liberties
  • Discrimination on the Basis of Disability
Regulation of Health Care Business Health lawyers and professionals need to ensure compliance with an increasingly complex set of legal regulations at federal and state levels. They need both a general corporate and tax background and specialized knowledge in health-related administrative law, business regulation, and white collar crime.
  • Health Law: Quality and Access
  • Health Law: Financing and Delivery
  • Health Legislation & Advocacy I & II
  • International & Comparative Health Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Antitrust
  • Corporations
  • Employee Benefits
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Federal Taxation
  • Insurance Law
  • Negotiation
  • White Collar Crime
  • Workers’ Compensation
Health & Social Justice The social, economic, and environmental challenges to a community’s health and welfare are increasingly evident, especially in historically under-served populations and in growing urban environments.
  • Bioethics & the Law
  • Domestic Violence & the Law
  • Health Legislation & Advocacy I & II
  • HeLP Legal Services Clinic I & II
  • HIV/AIDS & the Law
  • Human Rights and Children
  • Law and Social Welfare
  • Constitutional Law II
  • Constitutional Tort Litigation
  • Discrimination on the Basis of Disability
  • Elder Law
  • Family Law
  • International Human Rights
  • Juvenile Law
  • Race, Ethnicity & the Law
  • Sexual Identity & the Law
  • Women & the Law
Health Sciences & Technology Advances in technology have often outpaced society’s ability to respond to the ethical, legal, and societal implications of the fast-growing health sciences fields. Law and ethics are key considerations in new scientific research and development.
  • Biotechnology Law, Policy & Ethics
  • Food & Drug Law
  • Genetics & the Law
  • Human Subjects Research, Law & Ethics
  • Law and Emerging Technologies
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Patent Law
  • Products Liability
Public Health & the Environment Public health takes a population-based approach to health and involves such laws as those addressing emergency preparedness, infectious disease, chronic disease, sanitation, regulation of food and drugs, and environmental factors affecting health.
  • Food & Drug Law
  • HIV/AIDS & the Law
  • Public Health Law
  • Urban Environmental Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Constitutional Law I & II
  • Hazardous Waste Law
  • Local Government Law
  • Urban Fellows Seminar
International Health & Human Rights Laws and international treaties and conventions offer frameworks for ensuring the health of our global community and address a broad array of 21st-century challenges, from multinational corporations to individuals living in impoverished developing countries.
  • Human Rights and Children
  • International & Comparative Health Law
  • International Human Rights
  • Study Abroad Program in Rio de Janiero, Brazil (summer)

Course Descriptions

Recommended Lawyering Skills Courses for All Health Lawyers

Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution
Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiation
Mediation: Law & Practice
Either the HeLP Legal Services Clinic or the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic.

Health Law Course Descriptions

Bioethics and the Law explores a range of topics at the intersection of law and medical ethics, including reproductive technologies, death and end-of-life decision-making, and human subjects research.

Biotechnology, Law, Policy & Ethics surveys a variety of federal and state laws and international treaties addressing biotechnology research, development, and patenting.

Domestic Violence and the Law examines federal and state laws addressing domestic violence, as well as explores the social, psychological, and cultural issues that are involved in domestic violence and that affect the legal representation of parties in domestic violence cases.

Environmental Health Law & Policy is taught in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; it considers appropriate legal, regulatory and policy responses to a range of environmental health challenges, from the effects of pesticides on consumers to efforts to control communicable and insect-born disease.

Food and Drug Law is an introduction to the legal regulation of food, drugs and medical devices, and cosmetics in the United States, and also examines ethical and public policy issues presented by government efforts to ensure the safety and efficacy of drugs and medical devices and the safety and purity of foods and cosmetics.

Forensic Medicine is an interdisciplinary course exploring the interaction between the practices of law and medicine. The course highlights the challenges and advantages of using forensic medicine in legal proceedings and how it affects the fields of health and law. It addresses subjects such as toxic causation, disease epidemiology, vaccination litigation, paternalistic medicine, medical malpractice, fraud and abuse, government/regime sponsored experiments, mental health problems, and issues associated with the beginning and end of life.

Genetics & the Law explores legal and policy issues that arise in the context of the new biotechnologies that incorporate genetic analysis and includes topics such as the Human Genome Project, genetic privacy, DNA as a forensic tool, genetic engineering, and the role of genetics in new biotechnologies.

Health Law: Financing and Delivery focuses on federal and state legislation and agency regulation of health care businesses including antitrust enforcement, fraud and abuse laws, and corporate and tax regulation.

Health Law: Quality and Access focuses on the provider-patient relationship and examines various theories of liability against physicians, hospitals, and managed care organizations for injury to patients, including malpractice, informed consent doctrine, and statutory laws.

Health Law Seminar topics vary according to the faculty who teach it, and it has included the opportunity for joint classes with medical students.

Health Legislation & Advocacy I & II is a two-semester course sequence that examines the process by which proposed legislation becomes enacted into law at the state level, During the second semester, students work with community partners to track proposed health-related legislation during the Georgia General Assembly’s annual session.

HeLP Legal Services Clinic I & II  exposes students to substantive legal areas related to children, families, poverty, and social welfare, and it offers students the opportunity to develop basic lawyering skills, such as client interviewing, counseling, negotiation, and case management.  The Clinic is part of a community collaboration with hospitals operated by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society.

HIV/AIDS and the Law examines the social, legal, political, and ethical controversies surrounding the HIV/AIDS pandemic, as well as both domestic and international policies regarding HIV/AIDS.

Human Rights and Children explores the status of the child under international law, the rights of the child under international and regional human rights conventions, and mechanisms available for enforcing such rights.

Human Subjects Research Law & Ethics explores the ethical and regulatory framework that governs human subjects research in the United States, including the historical basis that led to the adoption of the regulations and how new technologies, such as genetic technologies and stem cell research, challenge the regulatory framework.

International & Comparative Health Law examines the legal, ethical, and political issues that arise in the context of addressing current challenges to global health, and look at the role played by governments, the private sector, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in meeting the health needs of the world’s population.

Law and Emerging Technologies examines various technological development in areas such as medicine, agriculture, energy, and information technology and explore the legal frameworks pertaining to these technologies while highlighting the legal challenges.

Law and Mental Health addresses civil aspects of mental health law such as commitment of the mentally ill, competency, testamentary capacity, and the law of psychic damages, as well as criminal aspects of forensic psychiatry including criminal responsibility, competency to stand trial, juristic psychology, dangerousness determinations, and coerced behavioral change.

Law and Social Welfare explores state and federal laws and policies addressing social welfare, including welfare reform, benefit programs, Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, consumer fraud, problems of the uninsured, and access to appropriate education, affordable housing, and safe environments.

Public Health Law examines law’s role in preventing disease, injury and disability and includes particular topic areas such as reproductive health, environmental hazards, workplace health, sexually transmitted diseases, tobacco-related illnesses, vaccine-preventable diseases, and injury control.

Urban Environmental Law Seminar considers a range of topics, including improving air quality and providing clean water in urban areas, the inter-relation of such goals with transportation and growth management, and urban and public health planning.