Medical Law

Medical law is a dynamic and rapidly developing discipline. In this field the juridical aspects concerning health care, such as the status , rights and duties of patients and healthcare providers,  biomedical research and the pharmaceutical field, are studied.

The questions span across many of the traditional legal disciplines, while the research is at the same time carried out in close contact with representatives for ethics, medicine, pharmaceutics, and health sciences. The influences from European and international legal development is clear, with new demands for harmonisation or in some cases the claim for national legal traditions. Medical law is accordingly interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary in its character.

The medical law research environments in the Nordic countries are under development. Cross-border collaboration is therefore an important part of the research. In Nordic and international networks, as well as in joint projects, our work contributes at developing new methods and deepen comparative studies.

Interaction with society at large is also important, as the rapid scientific development gives rise to constant need for legal analyses of new possibilities and risks. At the Faculty of Law, the researchers in Medical law have seminars at regular occasions together with invited researchers and authorities. At these seminars, current issues in Medical law are discussed and we present our research. The team also contributes to the legislative process as to commenting on legislative bills and several of us act as experts.

Current research

During the last few years, studies have been focused on the balancing of interests and regulation related to individual self-determination and protection of integrity in health care and research, for example in the use of new information technology, biobanking, or medical interventions at the beginning and end of life.

Judicial protection and legal rights for incapacitated adults, as well as the status of children in health care have also been studied. The significance of cultural and religious values for basic rights and duties in health care is another field of study, as well as the impact of such values on the interpretation of fundamental legal principles in biomedicine.

►Medical Law Publications


Elisabeth Rynning


The Nordic Network for Research in Biomedical Law 
University Medical Centre Groningen
University of Groningen
Centrum för forskningsetik och bioetik, UU
Impact of religion - challenges for society, law and democracy
U4 Network
European association of Health Law

Research Projects

Last modified: 2023-10-12