Health Law at the Supreme Court of Canada


The Supreme Court of Canada has issued a number of high-profile health law decisions—Latimer, Rodriguez, and Morgentaler, and the most recent, Chaoulli. Health law has become of great interest to the public and a dynamic, relevant, and important site of jurisprudential activity.

This book brings consideration of all of the major Supreme Court of Canada health law cases together in one place and in a coordinated fashion for the first time. In each chapter, the authors describe the relevant Supreme Court of Canada cases and explore the implications of the cases for their specific topic. Where relevant, the authors reflect on the following cross-cutting themes: the values of autonomy, dignity, liberty, equality, justice, privacy, and life; and the concepts of identity, personhood, community, property, embodiment, health, vulnerability, disability, and oppression. It is important for students, practitioners, policy-makers, academics, and judges to understand the ways in which such values and concepts play out in different ways in different contexts within the health sphere.

This book demonstrates the sweep of issues addressed by the Court and encourages reflection upon the role of the Court in shaping, both directly and indirectly, health care delivery and health policy in Canada. The authors have endeavoured to provide careful and critical evaluation of this role. Health Law at the Supreme Court of Canada is designed to contribute to the development of jurisprudence and legislation in the area of health law, policy, and practice.

Table of Contents

Jocelyn Downie and Elaine Gibson

Chapter 1: The Governance of Health Care: Fundamental Values, Law and Ethics, Courts, Parliament, and the Charter
The Honourable Charles D. Gonthier

Chapter 2: Judicious Choices: Health Care Resource Decisions and the Supreme Court
Colleen M. Flood and Michelle Zimmerman

Chapter 3: A Healthy Conception of Rights? — Thinking Relationally About Rights in a Health Care Context
Jennifer Llewellyn

Chapter 4: Healthy Communities: Public Health Law at the Supreme Court of Canada
Barbara von Tigerstrom

Chapter 5: The Multiple Meanings of Causation in the Supreme Court’s Medical Malpractice Jurisprudence: Past, Present, and Future
Joan M. Gilmour

Chapter 6: Informed Consent: Reasonableness, Risk, and Disclosure
Erin L. Nelson

Chapter 7: Revisiting Core Principles: Autonomy, Consent, and the Biobanking Challenge
Timothy Caulfield

Chapter 8: Women’s Reproductive Equality and the Supreme Court of Canada
Sanda Rodgers

Chapter 9: Assisted Death at the Supreme Court of Canada
Jocelyn Downie

Chapter 10: The Supreme Court of Canada at the Limits of Decisional Capacity
Sheila Wildeman

Chapter 11: Wealth Meets Health: Disabled Immigrants and Calculations of "Excessive Demand"
Constance MacIntosh

Chapter 12: Whither Privacy of Health Information at the Supreme Court of Canada?
Elaine Gibson

Chapter 13: Patent Law at the Supreme Court of Canada: A Healthy Balance?
Teresa Scassa

Chapter 14: Pathways to and from the Supreme Court of Canada for Health Law Litigants
Angela Campbell

Of interest...