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Mason and McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics

Eleventh Edition

Graeme Laurie, Shawn Harmon, and Edward Dove

April 2019

ISBN: 9780198826217

776 pages

In Stock

Price: £42.99

Trusted for over 35 years for its authoritative account of medical law, provides the right balance between in-depth legal coverage and analysis of ethical issues.



This classic textbook focuses on medical law and its relationship with medical practice and modern ethics. It provides thorough coverage of all of the topics found on medical law courses, and in depth analysis of recent court decisions, encouraging students to think analytically about the subject.

  • Covers the whole field of modern ethical medical practice, making the book suitable for use on all undergraduate and postgraduate medical law courses
  • Clearly sets out both sides of the argument in ethical debates, and offers the authors' own perspectives, encouraging students to explore and form their own opinions
  • Takes account of the influence of international jurisdictions, particularly in the EU, over the development of UK law

New to this edition

  • Includes a new chapter on ethico-legal issues affecting children, providing additional coverage on minors and consent, data protection, and research with children
  • Increased focus on the international human rights and public health dimension of law and medical ethics
  • Fully updated discussion of the changes in law or regulation of international surrogacy, criminal negligence, and the shift in the UK towards a soft opt-out system for organ donation
  • Discussion of recent legislation & guidance, such as the UK's Data Protection Act 2018; the GMC guidance on Confidentiality (2017) updated in 2018; and the Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Bill proposed in June 2018
  • Updated coverage of recent case law, including the high-profile Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans court decisions, Darnley v Croydon Health Services, and R (on the application of A (A Child)) v Secretary of State for Health

About the Author(s)

Graeme Laurie, Professor of Medical Jurisprudence, University of Edinburgh, Shawn Harmon, Honorary Fellow in the School of Law, University of Edinburgh, and Edward Dove, Lecturer in Risk and Regulation, University of Edinburgh

Table of Contents

    1:Medical ethics and medical practice
    2:Public health and the state-patient relationship
    3:Health rights and obligations in the European Union
    4:Consent to treatment
    5:Liability for medical injury
    6:Medical confidentiality
    7:Genetic information and the law
    8:The management of infertility and childlessness
    9:The control of fertility and child birth
    10:Ethico-legal issues affecting children
    11:Civil and criminal liability in reproductive medicine
    12:Health resources and dilemmas in treatment
    13:Treatment of the aged
    14:Mental health and human rights
    15:The body as property
    16:Medical futility
    17:The diagnosis of death
    18:The donation of organs and transplantation
    19:Medical assistance in dying
    20:Biomedical human research and experimentation


"Review from previous edition This is the gold standard: authoritative, comprehensive, and the most readable account of a challenging subject." - Dr Sarah Christie, Robert Gordon University

"This is the leading treatise in medical law: it preserves Mason and McCall Smith's ground-breaking work and distinct approach, while covering an impressive breadth of material. " - Katherine Wade, University of Leicester

"An excellent textbook. The content is clearly argued, well-referenced and interesting to read. It is the most accessible yet comprehensive textbook I am aware of on this subject." - Highly Commended 2017 BMA Medical Book Awards

Additional Resources

Visit the authors Twitter pages for additional insight into medical law.
Edward Dove
Graeme Laurie
The Mason Institute blog and Twitter page