The term e-health has come into use to characterize the burgeoning electronic communications system by which medical professionals, institutions, and enterprises share information, data, and access to medicinal products. This phenomenon has given rise to numerous legal complexities related to medical ethics, consent, remuneration, distribution of pharmaceuticals, quality assurance, protection of medical records, scientific research, and many other emerging issues of serious concern to the medical profession, the health care community, and the pharmaceutical industry.
This book is among the first to focus on this important new area of legal practice. It is based on a seminar sponsored by the Medicine and Law Committee of the International Bar Association and held at Cancun in October 2001. The book presents the reports of nine outstanding health law practitionersfrom Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, the United States, and Canadathat examine such diverse and significant matters as the following: doctor-patient relationships on the Internet; relevance of the European e-commerce directive to health law; liability issues in the practice of telemedicine; medical malpractice on the Internet; filtering and rating tools for assessment of medical information Web sites; commercial practicality of the draft International Convention on Telemedicine and Telehealth; protection of medical records under European data protection legislation; health care provider competition on the Internet; and cross-border processing of personal health data.
Although many more issues continue to arise in this new and complex field, this book provides a clear path to a reasoned analysis of the subject, and is sure to be useful as an opener of the way for future research and analysis. It will be of great value not only to health care lawyers and legal researchers but also to government regulators and providerswhether medical professionals, hospitals and other health care institutions, or manufacturers and distributors of health care products.