Bioethics is the study of the ethical issues emerging from advances in biology and medicine. It is also moral discernment as it relates to medical policy and practice. Bioethicists are concerned with the ethical questions that arise in the relationships among life sciences, biotechnology, medicine, politics, law, and philosophy. It includes the study of values ("the ethics of the ordinary") relating to primary care and other branches of medicine.
Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. Law is a system that regulates and ensures that individuals or a community adhere to the will of the state. State-enforced laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent, normally in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution, written or tacit, and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, history and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.
Medical law is the branch of law which concerns the prerogatives and responsibilities of medical professionals and the rights of the patient. It should not be confused with medical jurisprudence, which is a branch of medicine, rather than a branch of law.
Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law.
Oliver Goldsmith, The Traveller (1764), line 386. Same in Vicar of Wakefield.
Before I be convict by course of law,
To threaten me with death is most unlawful.
William Shakespeare, Richard III (c. 1591), Act I, scene 4, line 192.
We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
Ronald Reagan, Speech at the Republican National Convention, Platform Committee Meeting, Miami, Florida" (31 July 1968).