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Examination of the Legal and Institutional Frameworks of Medical Law in Nigeria (Published)

This paper examines the legal and institutional frameworks of medical law in Nigeria. The health sector has significant and considerable multiplier effect on virtually every facets of a country. The economic, industrial, technological and agricultural advancement of a country cannot be isolated from the state of the health of the citizens. Therefore, it is a truism that a healthy nation is a wealthy nation. Medical law being the legal regime that regulates the health sector, the prerogatives and responsibilities of medical professionals as well as the rights of patients; this head of law, is very significant. If the rights of patients, the duties of medical professionals and health institutions in Nigeria are to be protected, enhanced and developed, attention must be paid to Nigerian’s medical law. Medical practice in Nigeria is bedevilled with a number of challenges, ranging from legislative imbroglio to institutional dysfunctions which consequently enmesh the health sector in sporadic cases of medical negligence, violation of patients’ rights, breach of confidentiality, protracted discipline cases of medical practitioners and abuses. Existing research work by learned writers and jurists focus mainly on patients’ rights and negligence. Most of the research works do not examine the legal regime of medical law as well as the institutional framework for the enforcement of patients’ rights and discipline of medical practitioners. This academic work uses the doctrinal method of legal research to examine existing literature, articles, legislations and judicial authorities; to expose the legal and institutional dysfunction in medical law in Nigeria with a view to providing functional and holistic legal regime that will strengthen medical law in Nigeria. This work identified gaps in existing legislations in medical law in Nigeria; it exposes the non-justifiability of the constitutional provision on health in the Nigeria’s constitution as well as weak institutional framework for enforcement of medical law. At the end of the work, it is recommended that the various medical or health law in Nigeria should be amended to incorporate contemporary trends in medical practice; massive education of the citizenry should be done to educate people about their health rights and strong institutions should be put in place for the enhancement of medical law in Nigeria.

 Citation: Olabanjo Ayenakin, Temidayo Akindejoye, and Itunu Kolade-Faseyi (2021)  Examination of the Legal and Institutional Frameworks of Medical Law in Nigeria, Global Journal of Politics and Law Research, Vol.9, No.6, pp.12-24

Keywords: Legal Framework, institutional framework, legal regime, medical law