Health Law, Policy and Ethics

Breakthroughs in the health sciences offer tremendous hope to patients and the public.  But with progress, new sets of legal, regulatory and ethical challenges emerge.  Innovation in science requires matching innovation in regulation and governance, and researchers and decision-makers rigorously trained to work across disciplines and to translate knowledge in both domestic and international health policy contexts.  The University of Ottawa’s new Masters in Health Law, Policy and Ethics is designed to train students to meet the pressing challenges faced by health policy-makers, such as growing health care budgets, Canada’s aging population, new disease threats, and the emergence of new forms of care, such as medical aid in dying.  The University of Ottawa Faculty of Law offers students both the largest concentration of health law faculty and the broadest selection of health law courses in Canada. 

The University of Ottawa is home to the interdisciplinary Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics, which acts as a hub for the development and dissemination of health-related research and engagement with decision-makers, governmental agencies, and stakeholders.  The Centre has a variety of opportunities for graduate students pursuing research in health law including an annual speaker series, regular Cafés Scientifique, an annual Health Law Day, a biannual National Health Law Conference, and regular interdisciplinary workshops on a variety of research themes, including vulnerability, aging, governance, and technology and innovation.  The Centre also organizes an annual grant-writing workshop, which is designed to support graduate students in drafting successful proposals for external funding.  Several health law faculty members have assisted students in obtaining these awards in the past.  The Centre also co-organizes an annual Health Law Graduate Student Colloquium in conjunction with McGill University’s Research Group on Health and Law.  This Colloquium gives our students the opportunity to network with other health researchers and to present their research to an interdisciplinary audience of experts and decision-makers.

We invite you to explore the Program Requirements and Course Descriptions.

You may also wish to consult the information about the Center for Health Law, Policy and Ethicsunder the uOttawa Faculty of Law, Common Law Section.

We invite applications from JD students/ JD graduates interested in pursuing a Master in Laws  (LLM) project, with a focus on how human life cycles are understood. 

We hope to hear from JD students who have an interest in health law, geriatric law, maternal health law, Indigenous law, and others regarding how to understand and explain life stages. Currently, the legal and health care communities are becoming aware that their abilities to understand and respect all aspects and bodies of knowledge regarding birth, life and death are still minimal. Graduate work is one of the ways cultural and legal knowledge can be explored and presented to others so that health sciences and legal circles respect the importance of these ways.

Co-supervised by Professors Jennifer Chandler and Signa Daum Shanks, the LLM student creating this project will have an opportunity to broaden their academic efforts in health law, Indigenous law, and the history of health sciences reinforcing colonizing attitudes about the value of Indigenous knowledge. Funds of $15,000 are available to support this student. 

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