Rapid advances in medical science and technology mean that the boundaries of what is scientifically or medically possible are continually being pushed. There is a vast range of medical treatments and procedures available which once would have been considered science fiction, that have now become a reality. These developments mean that doctors and other health professionals can now prolong the life of an individual that not that long ago would not have been possible.
For many, these developments mean that expectations have also increased, from simple management of illness to the hope of a complete cure. Additionally, emerging health technologies, access to data, information sharing and other healthcare innovations are being introduced to global healthcare systems. The law often struggles to keep pace with advances in medicine, science and technology. In many circumstances, it is only when issues come to the fore that the law and policymakers are required to consider how, when or if there is a need for regulation or law reform.
The objective of the health law stream is to bring together academics, researchers and health practitioners interested in the ethical, legal and social challenges that health law issues present. As the health law stream leader, I invite you to contact [email protected], others in the stream or AABHL members to engage in robust discussion and foster collaborative relationships in the area of health law.
Dr Neera Bhatia is an Associate Professor at the Law School, Deakin University, Melbourne. She is the author of ‘Critically impaired infants and end of life decision making: Resource allocation and difficult decisions’, published by Routledge Cavendish (U.K). Her research interests are in the area of health law and bioethics, more specifically, end of life decision making for critically ill infants and children. She also researches in the area of organ donation, voluntary assisted dying and more recently in the area of cryonics.
Neera actively engages with the wider community on issues that are topical in health law. She regularly appears in the media as an expert commentator in her areas of research. Neera also sits on several clinical ethics committees. She teaches in the areas of Torts and Consumer Law in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
If you have any health-law related activities, ideas, or suggestions that would be beneficial to share with other AABHL members please contact me: [email protected]