What Is Medical Law?

Robyn Sztyndor

January 2, 2023

Medical law deals with a number of different areas, including the law surrounding ethics, confidentiality, and power of attorney. It also consists of anti-kickback laws, as well as living wills. If you are involved in any of these areas, then you will want to speak with an attorney about how these laws may apply to you and your practice.

Living will

If you or a loved one is terminally ill, you may be asking yourself, “what are my options?” Creating a living will under medical law is a great way to ensure that your wishes are honored when the time comes. It also helps to avoid a conflict between family members over the type of medical care you want.

Living wills, also known as advance directives, are legal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The document outlines your preferences regarding medical treatments and life-sustaining procedures. Some people also include instructions on organ donation.

While there are no specific regulations for creating a living will, a number of states have forms that can be downloaded and printed. Be sure to consult a physician for advice before you make your final decision.

Power of attorney

If you are an adult who is looking to leave some of your healthcare decisions to someone else, you may want to consider a medical power of attorney. This document will allow you to pass on important medical information to a trusted friend or relative.

The correct documents can make a difficult situation much easier for you and your loved ones. Your agent will be able to make health care decisions for you and carry out your wishes when you are not able to do so yourself.

A medical power of attorney may be necessary for a variety of reasons. You may need a trusted person to make medical decisions for you if you are in the midst of a life-threatening illness, are planning to travel, or are dealing with a more long-term health issue.

Anti-kickback law

The Anti-Kickback law is one of the essential anti-corruption statutes in medical law. It prohibits the offering of remuneration for referrals to businesses reimbursable under federal health care programs.

Kickbacks are illegal because they lead to unnecessary and inappropriate medical treatment. Kickbacks can be in the form of cash payments, free or discounted supplies, travel, and other items of monetary value.

A single violation of the Anti-Kickback statute can result in a felony conviction. In addition to prison time, the individual could also face civil monetary penalties of up to $100,000. This can make practicing medicine difficult or even impossible.

The Anti-Kickback law is also a part of the False Claims Act. Bringing action under this law is an effective way to stop healthcare kickbacks.


Medical law, and the ethical issues it involves, have a universal appeal. A primary focus of medical law is on obligations to patients, particularly adults. It has evolved into an increasingly judge-led field.

The primary objective of medical practice is to serve humanity. To ensure patients’ rights are upheld, the profession needs to maintain its integrity. This requires physicians to disclose all conflicts of interest and ensure that their actions are in the best interests of the patient.

In addition, physicians must consider the interests of all parties involved. Patients should be informed of the risks and benefits of any intervention and be invited to discuss their options. Providing this information helps patients to make informed decisions.

Another aspect of medical ethics involves advance directives. Some severe health issues involve life-or-death decisions. These decisions often require the cooperation of family members and legal guardians.


When a doctor and a patient have a relationship, there is a professional duty of confidentiality. This obligation covers not only the information in the medical record but also the communications between the doctor and the patient.

The concept of confidentiality is an important one in medicine. It is one of the core duties of physicians. However, it is often a tricky issue in a busy practice environment.

In some instances, the patient may not want to share their diagnosis with the rest of their family. For example, a woman may not want her husband to learn of her diagnosis, which could result in the two of them knowing the truth.

Some exceptions to confidentiality are permitted when disclosure is necessary to protect other people. For instance, a physician may need to report certain diseases, such as rabies or tuberculosis, to the authorities.