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Medical law & ethics: Home

UK, EU & international medical law & ethics.
Subjects: Law

Purpose of this guide

This guide is intended for students and researchers studying medical law at the University of Oxford, although students and researchers from any field may find it useful.

Use this guide to find out about sources and commentary for medical law, including ebooks, ejournals, and databases.

Medical Law and Ethics: Quick Start


Medical law and ethics considers the rights of patients and responsibilities of doctors with reference to complex moral debate: being legal does not necessarily make a decision or action ethical. Areas covered include rationing decisions where treatment is not universally available, the ability to consent to or refuse treatment, confidentiality, medical negligence, abortion, fertility treatment, organ donation, death and dying, the detention of the mentally ill and carrying out medical research.

Examples of online resources available to holders of an Oxford SSO:

Halsbury's Laws is an authoritative encyclopaedia of law in the England and Wales. The main subject volumes will give you a concise overview of the law, while the footnotes will direct you to the most important cases, legislation and commentary in that area. The print volumes are at KZ1 in the main Reading Room. Use the Cumulative Supplement to check for any new developments in the law since the volume was printed. OU members can access Halsbury's Laws electronically via Lexis®Library.

Law Reserve When you search SOLO for texts you may find - especially if the text is recommended on an undergrad reading list - pleae ask at Enquiry Desk for directions

An example of  a Reading List title in the Law Reserve Collection

Two examples of works on English medical law on open shelf on Level 2:

Looking beyond a single jurisdiction ... Books with shelf marks starting General are also on Level 2:

Clinical medicine is primarily served by the Bodleian Health Care Libraries across four sites which house collections of current material. The Bodleian Health Care Libraries cater for both the University and the local NHS staff. Specialities are as follows:

Cairns Library, John Radcliffe Hospital: Acute General Medicine/Surgery (all disciplines), Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Geratology, AIDS, Neurosciences, Otorhinolaryngology, Ophthalmology and coursebooks.

Knowledge Centre, Old Road Campus Research Building: Epidemiology, Evidence Based Healthcare, Health Policy, Public health medicine, Statistics, Diabetes, Oncology, Radiotherapy.

NOC Library, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre: Orthopaedics, Musculoskeletal Sciences, Rheumatology, Neurological Diseases and Neurorehabilitation, Orthotics, Prosthetics, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Health Management, and Nursing.

Horton Library, Horton General Hospital: General Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Nursing and Midwifery, Neonatology, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Paediatrics, Gerontology, Cardiology, Respiratory Medicine, Trauma and Orthopaedics, Endocrinology, Psychiatry and Mental Health, Psychology, Emergency Medicine, Intensive Care Medicine, Surgery and Anaesthetics, Pathology, Microbiology, and Health Management.

Non-clinical medicine is primarily served by the Radcliffe Science Library. Its extensive collections in Life Sciences and Medicine date from the 19th Century, including legal deposit and purchased material of both historical and contemporary interest. It collects the legal deposit material in clinical medicine, and legal deposit and purchased material in non-clinical subjects such as Experimental Psychology, Human Anatomy and Genetics, Physiology, Pathology, and Pharmacology.

The Guide below is the Bodleian Health Care Libraries' guide for NHS staff to using electronic resources. 

Related Bodleian guides

Guide Author

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Kathryn Tyne
Bodleian Law Library
St Cross Building
Manor Road
Oxford OX1 3UR
01865 271462

Key libraries