Medical Law

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 4,787 reviews

Jump to Section

Need help with a Power of Attorney?

Post Project Now

Post Your Project (It's Free)

Get Bids to Compare

 Hire Your Lawyer

Medical law in the United States refers to the legal principles, policies, and regulations that govern the medical field. It encompasses many legal issues, including patient rights, medical malpractice, informed consent, privacy and confidentiality of medical records, the liability of healthcare providers, and many others.

Medical law seeks to balance the interests of patients, healthcare providers, and society, ensuring that medical practices are ethical, safe, and fair. Understanding medical law is crucial for medical professionals and patients, as it helps to promote transparency, accountability, and fairness in the medical field.

What is Medical Law?

Medical law refers to a branch of law that deals with the legal and ethical issues related to the medical profession, including the rights and duties of healthcare providers, patients, and third-party payers.

Here are some key points that medical law covers:

  • Informed Consent

    A patient must give informed consent before undergoing medical treatment. This means that the patient must be fully informed of the risks, benefits, and alternatives and freely agree to the treatment.

    Example: A doctor cannot perform surgery on a patient without informed consent.

  • Confidentiality

    Healthcare providers must keep a patient's medical information confidential, except in limited circumstances where disclosure is required by law.

    Example: A doctor cannot share a patient's medical records with anyone without the patient's permission unless the disclosure is required to protect the patient or others.

  • Medical Negligence

    The legal concept holds healthcare providers accountable for failing to provide a reasonable standard of care, resulting in harm to the patient.

    Example: If a doctor cannot diagnose a patient's condition during the treatment and the patient's condition worsens, then the doctor will be liable for the consequences.

  • Advance Directives

    Legal documents let patients specify their medical treatment preferences if they cannot decide for themselves.

    Example: A living will is an advance directive allowing patients to specify their end-of-life treatment preferences.

  • Right to Refuse Treatment

    The right of a patient to refuse medical treatment, even if it is necessary to save their life.

    Example: A patient has the right to refuse a blood transfusion, even if it is necessary to save their life if they object to the treatment on religious grounds.

    These are some of the key areas that medical law covers, and it is important to understand these legal and ethical issues to ensure that the rights and interests of all parties are protected in medical situations.

Importance of Medical Law

Medical law refers to the legal rules, regulations, and standards that govern the healthcare industry and the delivery of medical services in the United States. It is important to protect the rights and interests of both patients and healthcare providers, ensure that medical services are provided safely and ethically, and balance the competing interests of various stakeholders.

Medical law covers various issues, including informed consent, patient privacy and confidentiality, medical malpractice, end-of-life care, reproductive rights, and access to healthcare. It sets the legal framework for delivering medical services, establishing standards for medical practice and protecting patients from harm.

Medical law is essential in protecting patients' rights and ensuring they receive safe, effective, and ethical medical care. It helps to establish clear standards for medical practice and to hold healthcare providers accountable for any harm they cause.

Additionally, medical law plays a critical role in safeguarding patient privacy and confidentiality, protecting sensitive medical information and ensuring that patients have control over their medical decisions.

Medical law is a crucial aspect of the healthcare industry in the United States, providing a legal framework for delivering medical services and protecting patients and healthcare providers' rights and interests.

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Bryan B.

117 projects on CC
View Profile

Elbert T.

3 projects on CC
View Profile

Briana C.

63 projects on CC
View Profile

Bruce B.

24 projects on CC
View Profile

Influential Precedents of Medical Law

  • " Schloendorff v. Society of New York Hospital" (1914) - It established the principle of informed consent.
  • " Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health" (1990) - This case explained the standards for determining when life-sustaining treatment can be withdrawn.
  • " Griswold v. Connecticut" (1965) - The judgment was about the right to privacy in access to contraception, one of the important precedents of medical law.
  • " Washington v. Harper" (1990) - The judgment established the constitutional right to refuse antipsychotic medication for prisoners.

These are some of the most influential precedents in the development of medical law in the United States.

Key Terms

  • Informed Consent: The legal principle that requires healthcare providers to obtain a patient's agreement to medical treatment after informing them of the risks, benefits, and alternatives of the procedure.
  • Patient Autonomy: The legal principle that recognizes a patient's right to make their own medical decisions, even if they go against the advice of their healthcare provider.
  • Advance Directives : Legal documents that outline a patient's wishes for medical treatment in the event they become unable to make decisions for themselves.
  • Medical Malpractice: A type of professional negligence that occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide an appropriate standard of care to a patient.
  • Confidentiality: T he legal principle that requires healthcare providers to protect the privacy of a patient's medical information and keep it confidential, except in certain limited circumstances.


In conclusion, US medical law encompasses a complex and diverse range of laws and regulations aimed at protecting the health and well-being of patients and ensuring the proper practice of medicine.

This includes laws related to medical malpractice, informed consent, patient privacy and confidentiality, medical billing and insurance, and various other areas. The laws and regulations governing medical practice in the US continue to evolve and change, reflecting the dynamic and rapidly advancing field of medicine. ContractsCounsel can help you understand every aspect of medical law, contact us to know more!

How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our Lawyers

Orly B. on ContractsCounsel
View Orly
5.0 (4)
Member Since:
April 21, 2022

Orly B.

Free Consultation
New York (virtual)
8 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
Tel Aviv University

Orly Boger has worked in the high tech industry and in a leading law firm before launching her law firm. Orly focuses on startup companies and technology transactions. She structures and negotiates software and technology license agreements, strategic partnerships, cloud-based/SaaS agreements, internet related transactions, OEM agreements, supply, distribution, telecommunications. In addition, Orly has experience in serving as an in-house legal counsel for start up companies at various phases of their development, providing strategic legal advise to entrepreneurs and emerging companies with a comprehensive understanding of the business and legal issues. She has been helping companies develop a legal strategy for all aspects of their operations, from commercial transactions and partnerships, scalable SaaS or services agreements, privacy policies, employment related policies, open source licensing and much more.

Brian S. on ContractsCounsel
View Brian
5.0 (5)
Member Since:
April 17, 2022

Brian S.

Chief Legal Officer
Free Consultation
Washington, DC
14 Yrs Experience
Licensed in DC, PA
Duquesne Law School

Corporate attorney with 13+ years of in-house counsel, people leadership and client management experience. Provides legal expertise and a business-oriented approach to problem solving and building lines of business. Consistently works under pressure, prioritizing and managing workload and simultaneous tasks to meet deadlines in a changing, fast-paced environment.

Igor B. on ContractsCounsel
View Igor
5.0 (1)
Member Since:
May 5, 2022

Igor B.

Free Consultation
Atlanta, GA
13 Yrs Experience
Licensed in GA
Georgia State University College of Law

As a corporate lawyer, I have dealt with international transactions, complex litigation and arbitration, regulatory compliance, and multijurisdictional tax planning. In March 2021, I started my firm and shifted my professional focus to working with start-ups, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and families. I help my clients structure and run their businesses and take care of their assets, including intellectual property issues and estate planning for their families. I try to bring big law quality and small firm personal attention to every client.

Zachary J. on ContractsCounsel
View Zachary
5.0 (50)
Member Since:
May 27, 2022

Zachary J.

Free Consultation
Crown Point, IN
4 Yrs Experience
Licensed in IL
The University of Michigan Law School

I am a solo-practitioner with a practice mostly consisting of serving as a fractional general counsel to growth stage companies. With a practical business background, I aim to bring real-world, economically driven solutions to my client's legal problems and pride myself on efficient yet effective work.

Patrycja S. on ContractsCounsel
View Patrycja
Member Since:
March 29, 2022

Patrycja S.

Free Consultation
Cleveland, OH, United States
3 Yrs Experience
Licensed in OH
Cleveland Marshall College of Law

Freelance attorney helping others beat overflow work by assisting with legal research, legal drafting, discovery, litigation support and client relations.

Jerry L. on ContractsCounsel
View Jerry
Member Since:
May 17, 2022

Jerry L.

Free Consultation
Kingsport, Tennessee
6 Yrs Experience
Licensed in TN
University of Tennessee

Jerry provides legal advice to business owners regarding contracts, business law, labor & employment, wills and estates, and real estate.

John M. on ContractsCounsel
View John
Member Since:
April 20, 2022

John M.

General Counsel
Free Consultation
Jupiter, FL
20 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NJ, NY
Benjamin Cardozo School of Law

Seasoned professional with experience in wide variety of contract negotiation and review.

Dan P. on ContractsCounsel
View Dan
Member Since:
May 2, 2022

Dan P.

Free Consultation
New York
16 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
University of San Francisco School of Law

I primarily work with small businesses and the self-employed. I help my clients build sustainable businesses, navigate risk, and resolve conflicts. Most of my cases involve contract review, drafting, negotiation, and disputes; I also work on business entity formation, employment and independent contractor issues, copyright licenses, trademark registration, and more.

Cindy A. on ContractsCounsel
View Cindy
Member Since:
May 5, 2022

Cindy A.

Contracts Manager
Free Consultation
Durham, NC
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NC

Attorney that has worked in both litigation and transactional fields. Motivated and personable professional. Speaks fluent Spanish and very basic Portuguese.

Michael V. on ContractsCounsel
View Michael
Member Since:
May 6, 2022

Michael V.

Corporate Counsel
Free Consultation
8 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MO
Saint Louis University

Seven years experience reviewing and drafting corporate and transactional documents, including NDAs, LLC operating agreements, MSAs, employment agreements, etc.

Brittany S. on ContractsCounsel
View Brittany
Member Since:
May 6, 2022

Brittany S.

Free Consultation
New York / New Jersey
1 Yr Experience
Licensed in NJ, NY
Touro Law Center

I am licensed in New York and New Jersey. I graduated with my J.D. from Touro University Law Center, Summa Cum Laude, in 2021. In 2018, I graduated from SUNY Farmingdale with a B.S. in Sport Management and a minor in Business Management. I have experience in real estate law and insurance defense, including employment law. Please note, I do not carry malpractice insurance.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call