chapter  1
Pages 14

Ten years ago, the title Feminist Perspectives on Health Care Law would have been guaranteed to alienate at least as many of those with an interest in law as it would have attracted. To the traditional lawyer, whose eye was caught as he1 scanned the shelves for the latest edition of Winfield and Jolowicz on Tort or Smith and Hogan on Criminal Law, it would have been a point of irritation on (at least) two grounds. First, no doubt, he would have been sceptical about the merits of even recognising health care (or medical) law as a discrete subject for study. Indeed, flicking through the pages of Smith and Hogan, the traditionalist might well have reflected that no such subject as health care law exists. Subjects such as abortion are included in the pages before him, (reassuringly located alongside related criminal offences under the title of ‘homicide’). Likewise, he would have known that in Winfield and Jolowicz, he would have found discussion of the leading cases regulating medical malpractice alongside other non-medical cases, under such generic headings as ‘professional standards’. ‘Health care law’, he might have concluded, is nothing more than a collection of cases and statutes which might each be better located within one of the core subjects of law: crime, administrative law, equity, property, contract and – in particular – tort law.2