Book Review: Principles of Medical Law, 4th Edition

9 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2018

See all articles by Edward Dove

Edward Dove

University of Edinburgh - School of Law

Date Written: March 9, 2018


Edited by Judith Laing and Jean McHale, Principles of Medical Law remains the leading comprehensive and authoritative medical law book in England and Wales. As the discipline evolves and expands, so too, it seems, do the volume and number of chapters. This 4th edition is divided into seven parts (‘The health care system’, ‘Clinical negligence’, ‘Patients’ rights’, ‘The law and reproduction’, ‘Medicinal products and devices’, ‘Regulating human material’, and ‘The end of life’) and contains 22 chapters that comprehensively cover the field, from the beginning to the end of human life, from torts to patents, and confidentiality to mental health. Given such breadth and depth, the reviewer of a compendium like this would be remiss in attempting to offer a whistle-stop tour of each chapter. Instead, in this review, I assess this book based on what I think are the criteria for an excellent legal compendium, illustrating the criteria through discussion of several of the exemplary chapters.

Keywords: law, medical law, textbook, compendium, book review

Suggested Citation

Dove, Edward, Book Review: Principles of Medical Law, 4th Edition (March 9, 2018). Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2018/05, Available at SSRN: or

Edward Dove (Contact Author)

University of Edinburgh - School of Law ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, EH8 9YL
United Kingdom

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