Patient-Centered Health Law and Ethics

20 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2010

See all articles by Lois L. Shepherd

Lois L. Shepherd

University of Virginia Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities; University of Virginia School of Law

Mark A. Hall

Wake Forest University - School of Law


The study of health law tends to focus on industry and public policy concerns, such as quality, cost, and access. Typically neglected is the core experience of patients being ill and seeking care. Our belief that law relating to patient care should better take into account what it means to be a patient led us to convene a group of ethics and legal scholars for a two-day conference in April 2010 to consider what a more patient-centered approach to health law and ethics would mean. This report identifies the areas in which participating scholars appeared to reach some consensus on this subject over the course of the conference, as well as issues about which there was disagreement or hesitation, and questions for future debate. The final version will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Wake Forest Law Review, along with other essays by conference participants relating to patient-centered health law.

Keywords: Patient-Centered, Health Law, Trust, Illness, Suffering, Academic Health Law, Patient-Individualized, Vulnerability, Patient Autonomy, Health Care Delivery, Relational, Centered, Healing Relationships

Suggested Citation

Shepherd, Lois L. and Hall, Mark A., Patient-Centered Health Law and Ethics. Wake Forest Law Review, Forthcoming; Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2010-34. Available at SSRN:

Lois L. Shepherd (Contact Author)

University of Virginia Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities ( email )

Box 800758
Charlottesville, VA 22901
United States
434-982-3970 (Phone)

University of Virginia School of Law

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Mark A. Hall

Wake Forest University - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 7206
Winston-Salem, NC 27109
United States
336-716-9807 (Phone)

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