Law and Medicine

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The historical relationship between law and medicine in the United States has been both collaborative and combative. Rather than sticking to a narrow formulation of the legal history of medicine focused on medical jurisprudence, this chapter expands the definition of the field and recasts it to include public health, health-related legislation, and the regulatory apparatuses of administrative law. The chapter examines how law and medicine create, enforce, or dismantle class, race, gender, sexualities, hierarchical medical arrangements, and corporate power. It adopts a chronological and thematic framework to highlight the ways in which traditional medico-legal issues, public health, and criminal law come together. In addition to the medico-legal questions regarding end-of-life decisions, patient rights, and privacy that became a focus of law school textbooks in the late twentieth century, the chapter considers the incorporation of the medical system into the state's policing systems over the century as a whole.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge History of Law in America
Subtitle of host publicationThe Twentieth Century and After (1920-)
EditorsMichael Grossberg, Christopher Tomlins
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9781139054195
ISBN (Print)9780521803076
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


  • health-related legislation
  • administrative law
  • criminal law
  • American law
  • public health regulation
  • medico-legal issues
  • patient rights

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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