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Research in Health Law

Legal Research Guides

Updated March 1, 2005.
Prepared by Nancy McMurrer for Medical Malpractice.
  1. Health Care: Substantive Medical Research
    1. Medical Practice Literature
    2. Drug and Device Information
    3. Medical Reference Material
  2. Medical Malpractice
  3. Health Care: Law and Regulation
  4. Current Awareness Research
  5. Internet Research: A Few Starting Points
  6. Medical Malpractice Research Guide

1. Health Care: Substantive Medical Research

Note that some of the sources below are indexes, with bibliographic citations to articles (B), and some contain full-text materials (F).

INDEX SOURCES

LIBRARY*

LexisNexis

Westlaw

Ageline (B): database from AARP, dealing, in part with health issues of the elderly

AGELINE (1978)

AMED Allied and Alternative Medicine (B): alternative medicine

AA-MED (1985)

Alt-HealthWatch (F): alternative and integrated approaches to health

Web, UW restricted, current material

Elsevier Biobase (B): biological information

**SCITEC;BIOBAS

BIOBASE (1994)

Biosis Previews (B): research in biological and biomedical sciences

Web (1991), UW restricted

BIOSIS (1969)

BIOSIS93 (1993)

CAB Health (B): communicable diseases

CABH (1973)

Cancerlit (B): experimental and clinical cancer therapy

Web (1960's)

CANCERLIT (1963)

Combine Health Information Database [CHID] (B): health information and health education resources from various federal agencies

Web (1985)

Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health (B): nursing and related fields

Web (1982), UW restricted

Current Biotechnology Abstracts (B): all aspects of biotechnology

CB-ABS (4/83)

Derwent Biotechnology Abstracts (B): research in biotechnology

BIOTECH-ABS (1983)

Embase (B): covers biomedical articles, meetings, symposia

SCITEC;EMBASE (1976)

EMBASE (6/74); EMBASE85 (1985); EMBASE-C (1-2 years)

EMBASE –NOW (8 wks)

ExtraMED (B): third-world biomedical coverage

EXTRAMED (1992)

Health and Wellness Database (B,F): consumer and professional publications

HWD (1988)

Manual, Alternative & Natural therapy (B): alternative health care

MANTIS (1980)

MD Consult (F): medical reference materials, journals

Web

Medline (B): major source for biomedical materials

Web, several versions from difference sources

MEDLNE (1966), many files, some by topic

MEDLINE (1966)

MEDLINE85 (1985)

Mental Health Abstracts (B): worldwide information on mental health subjects

MHA (1969)

ProQuest Medical Library (F): biomedical articles, including graphics

Web (1986), UW restricted

PsycINFO (B): Psychology, psychiatry, pharmacology and other social sciences

Web (1887), UW restricted

**PSYCINFO (1887)

Sport (B): includes sports medicine and exercise physiology

SPORT (1975); older coverage of books

* See list of databases available through the UW Libraries Research Databases at http://www.lib.washington.edu/. UW restricted means that you must access them on campus or via the UW Internet Connectivity Kit. Also see the list of databases at http://healthlinks.washington.edu/databases/.

** Not available on the academic contracts.

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a. Medical Periodical Literature

In addition to the indexes to periodical literature, both Westlaw and LexisNexis have a number of full-text medical and health care periodicals online. You can search a few group files: HEALTH;RXMEGA, HEALTH;ALLJNL, or HEALTH;MEDJNL in LexisNexis; AMA-JNLS in Westlaw. In addition to these group files, there are a number of individual medical journals available. Westlaw has a searchable database of all its holdings – IDEN. To search LexisNexis for particular journals, use the Find a Source window or go to the LexisNexis Source Locator, http://web.nexis.com/sources/. You may also call the vendors’ online research help: LexisNexis at 1-800-45 LEXIS (455-3947) and Westlaw at 1-800-REF-ATTY [733-2889].

To locate medical periodicals that are available to students via the Internet, go to the UW's medical and health care website – http://healthlinks.washington.edu/journals. At the top of the page, you will see the link for an alphabetical list of online medical journals. Note that some items in the list are preceded by a padlock icon, indicating that resource is restricted to UW users. Links to full text of particular articles may also be found through some of the indexes available at the Healthlinks webpage.

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b. Drug and Medical Device Information

Note that some of the sources below are indexes, with bibliographic citations to articles (B), and some contain full-text materials (F).

SOURCE

LIBRARY*

LexisNexis

Westlaw

Adis Literature Monitoring and Evaluation Service (B): summaries and indexes to drug evaluation papers

ADIS-LMS (1983)

Derwent Drug (B): all aspects of drugs

DWTDRUG (1983)

DWTDRUG-A (1964-82)

Derwent Drug Registry (F): chemical structure and biological activity of drugs

DRUGREG (current)

Diogenes (B, F): FDA information relating to drugs, medical devices and industry information

DIOGENES (1976)

Drug Information Full Text (F): drug reference source

GENMED;DIF (current)

Drugs & Pharmacology (B): EMBASE index on drugs

Web (1990), UW restricted

Drugs of the Future (F): monographs on new drugs

DRUGFUT (1990)

Engineering Village 2 (B,F): engineering index, including bioengineering and medical equipment

Web, UW restricted

Health Devices Alerts (B): medical device evaluations

HDA (1977)

International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (B): drugs and professional pharmaceutical practice

Web (1970), UW restricted

IPA (1970)

Merck Index Online (F): encyclopedia of chemical, drugs and biologicals

CD ROM, available at main campus libraries

MRCKINDX (late 19th century)

Pharm-line (B): index to pharmaceutical literature

PHARMLINE (1978)

Sedbase (F): side effects of drugs

SEDBASE (current)

Toxline (B): adverse effects of chemicals and drugs

Web (1985)

TSCA Chemical Substances Inventory (F): directory listing chemicals

CHEMSUBS (6/79)

* See list of databases available through the UW Libraries Research Databases at http://www.lib.washington.edu/. UW restricted means that you must access them on campus or via the UW Internet Connectivity Kit. Also see the list of databases at http://healthlinks.washington.edu/databases/.

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c. Medical Reference Materials

Dictionaries, encyclopedias, and reference texts for a variety of subjects may be found in print in the UW Health Sciences Library; they are most likely to be kept in reference stacks and to be limited to library use only. For overviews of particular medical subjects written for a layperson, add the term "popular" to a keyword or subject search. Just as in the law, books written for laypersons have that term as part of the subject heading. Gallagher Law Library has some reference tools, for example, Stedman's Medical Dictionary (R121.S8 1990@ Reserve), Medical Abbreviations (R123.D35 1993@ Reference Office), and the Physician's Desk Reference (RS75.P5, current @ Reference Office).

Online full-text reference materials are also available through the UW Libraries Research Databases, http://www.lib.washington.edu and through the UW Healthlinks website, http://healthlinks.washington.edu. At the latter website, look at the table of contents on the left for a link to Textbooks. At the UW Libraries Research Databases, you may select either an alphabetical list of all resources, or listings by subject.

Source

Library*

LexisNexis

Westlaw

Attorneys' Dictionary of Medicine

HEALTH;DICMED

Attorneys' Medical Advisor

MEDADV

Attorney's Textbook of Medicine: multi-volume medical reference looseleaf, updated quarterly

Print loose-leaf at Gallagher, not current

HEALTH;ATBMED

MD Consult: medical reference materials and textbooks

Web, UW restricted

Physician's Desk Reference: prescription and non-prescription drugs, published every year

Print, at Gallagher, RS75 .P5 @RefO

PDR

STAT!-Ref Medical Information: collection of medical textbooks

Web, UW restricted

Stedman's Medical dictionary

Web

STEDMANS

Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary

HEALTH;TABMED

* See list of databases available through the UW Libraries Research Databases at http://www.lib.washington.edu/. UW restricted means that you must access them on campus or via the UW Internet Connectivity Kit. Also see the list of databases at http://healthlinks.washington.edu/databases/.

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2. Medical Malpractice

Some of the best resources for research in this area will be treatises and loose-leaf services, either in print or online. Loose-leaf services bring together in one place statutory and administrative law, cases and commentary. Both Westlaw and LexisNexis have the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) health law loose-leaf books, as well as other treatises; these are not available on the academic contract. There are also a number of law reviews devoted to health care and medical/legal issues. Many of these can be found on LexisNexis and Westlaw. To find a particular law review, or to locate the range of secondary sources that are found on these online services, check their online or print directories. On LexisNexis, look at the option to Explore Sources, and click on the Area of Law By Topic link, then find Healthcare & Medical. On Westlaw, go to the Westlaw Directory and look under Topical Materials by Area of Practice for Health and Medicine. You may also call the vendors’ online research help: LexisNexis at 1-800-543-6862 and Westlaw at 1-800-REF-ATTY [733-2889].

To search legal journals for articles on particular subjects, consider using one of the two legal indexes. Gallagher has both of them in print in the Reading Room: Index to Legal Periodicals and Books, which began in 1888, with coverage even earlier, and Current Law Index, which began in 1980. Both are online in LexisNexis and Westlaw, although our academic contract does not cover the Index to Legal Periodicals and Books. The library has an electronic version of Current Law Index, which is called LegalTrac. Use the electronic Current Index to Legal Periodicals, which is produced by the Gallagher Law Library, for the most up-to-date subject access to articles in legal journals. Remember that medical malpractice issues are also covered in medical periodical literature.

Legal and general news sources can provide excellent coverage about recent cases or other developments in the medical malpractice area. For more detail, see Current Awareness Research, below.

Source

Library*

LexisNexis

Westlaw

American Law of Medical Malpractice

KF2905.3 .P43 1992 @ classified

ALMM

Attorneys Medical Deskbook

MEDDESK

BNA Health Care Policy Report: health care financing, reform, budget, Medicare

HEALTH;BNAHCP

BNA-HCP

BNA Health Law Reporter: all aspects of health and health care law

HEALTH;BNAHLR

BNA-HLR

BNA Medicare Report: all aspects of Medicare

HEALTH;BNAMED

BNA-MED

Courtroom Toxicology, Courtroom Medicine, etc.

HEALTH;CTOXIC
HEALTY;CTMTNC

Current Index to Legal Periodicals [CILP] (B): current law reviews

Web, UW restricted

CILP (current 8 wks)

Diagnostic Procedures

HEALTH; DIAGPR

Drug Product Liability

HEALTH;DPLIAB

Harney's Medical Malpractice

KF2905.3 .H37 1999 @ Faculty Office

Health Care Law: A Practical Guide

HEALTH;HLTHPG

Health Law Practice Guide

HTHLGP

Incidence & Prevalence Database (F): reports and statistical data about care for particular diagnoses

IPD (1988)

Index to Legal Periodicals: covers major law reviews and some books

**LAWREV;ILP (1978)

**ILP (7/81)

Injuries & Disorders in the Elderly

HEALTH;IADITE

Lawyers' Guide to Medical Proof

HEALTH;LGMEDP

Legal Periodicals Group File (F): health law

HEALTH:MEDJNL

HTH-TP

Legal Resource Index [also called LegalTrac] (B,F): law reviews, legal newspapers

Web (1980), UW restricted

LAWREV;LGLIND (1980)

LRI (1980)

Medical Malpractice

PLIREF-MEDMAL

Medical Malpractice: Checklists and Discovery

MEDMALCD

Medical Malpractice: Discovery and Trial

KF8925.M3 M67 2002 @ classified

Medical Malpractice: Guide to Medical Issues

HEALTH;MEDISS

Medical Malpractice: Litigation Guide

HEALTH;MEDMAL

Medical Malpractice – Texts and Periodicals

MM-TP

Preparation of Medical Cases for Settlement and Trial

HEALTH;MEDSET

Proving Medical Diagnosis and Prognosis

HEALTH;PMEDDP

Treatise on Health Care Law: all aspects of health care practice

HEALTH;HLTHCL

* See list of databases available through the UW Libraries Research Databases at http://www.lib.washington.edu/. UW restricted means that you must access them on campus or via the UW Internet Connectivity Kit. Also see the list of databases at http://healthlinks.washington.edu/databases/.

** Not available on the academic contract.

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3. Health Care: Law and Regulation

The BNA Health Law Reporter, a loose-leaf service referred to above, is a good resource for researching general health law issues. Both Westlaw and LexisNexis have specific primary law databases and files for statutory law, administrative materials, and case law relating to health care and medicine. Use the online directories, under Area of Law by Topic, then Healthcare and Medical for LexisNexis; in Westlaw, look under Topical Materials by Area of Practice for Health and Medicine. You may also call the vendors’ online research help: LexisNexis is 1-800-543-6862 and Westlaw is 1-800-REF-ATTY [733-2889].

Jurisdiction and Type of Material

LexisNexis

Westlaw

Federal Case Law

HEALTH;FEDCTS (health cases)
HEALTH;DIST (District Cts.)
HEALTH;USAPP (Cts. of Appeals)
HEALTH;USLED (Sup. Ct.)

FHTH-CS (health cases)
FHTH-DCT (District Cts.)
FHTH-CTA (Cts. of Appeals)
FHTH-SCT (Sup. Ct.)

Federal Statutes

HEALTH;USCS (titles 15,21,24,42)

FHTH-USCA (health laws)

Federal Administrative Law

HEALTH;CFR (titles 15,20,21,29,42,45)
HEALTH;FEDREG (health – 1980)
HEALTH;ALLREG (CFR & FEDREG)

FHTH-CFR (health regulations)
FHTH-FR (health – 7/80)
FHTH-HHS (DHHS decisions – 3/74)
FHTH-HCFA (HCFA rulings – 1990)
FHTH-PRRB (Provider Reimbursement Review Bd. – 1994)

Jurisdiction and Type of Material

LexisNexis

Westlaw

State Case Law

HEALTH;OMNI (all states' health cases)
HEALTH;HIGHCT (highest courts)
HEALTH;XXCTS (XX = state postal abbreviation

MHTH-CS (all states' health cases)
XXHTH-CS (XX = stat postal abbreviation)

State Statutes

HEALTH;ALLCDE (health laws from all states)
HEALTH;XXCODE (XX = state postal abbreviation)
HEALTH;XXHLTH (XX = state postal abbreviation, code and regulations. Not all states are available)

State Administrative Law

HEALTH;XXREGS (XX = state postal abbreviation. Not all states' regulations are available)
HEALTH;STREGS (combined state regs)

ENFLEX-STATE (all 50 states' health, environment, safety regulations)
ENFLEX-XX (XX = state postal abbreviation)

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4. Current Awareness Research

Part of practice is keeping up with the latest developments. In addition to the specialized materials listed below, general newspaper articles can be very good sources for following late-breaking stories. News sources often follow legislation, both federal and state, or they may provide information that will help you locate a document available at a government website. Both LexisNexis and Westlaw have large collections of newspapers, both in individual databases for a single newspaper or in group files. A good file for a "quick and dirty" search on LexisNexisis NEWS;CURNWS, which contains the most recent two years of the newspapers on the service; NEWS;ARCNWS covers newspaper articles that appeared earlier than two years ago. A similar database on Westlaw is ALLNEWS, which searches the most current one to two years. To search earlier years in the same database, look for the instructions on the same screen as the search window.

Industry or subject oriented newsletters are also a good resource for current developments. You can search for specific newsletters, or use the handy health and medicine group files, some of which are noted below. Use the online directories, under Area of Law by Topic, then Healthcare and Medical for LexisNexis. In Westlaw, look under Topical Materials by Area of Practice for Health and Medicine. You may also call the vendors’ online research help: LexisNexis at 1-800-543-6862 and Westlaw at 1-800-REF-ATTY [733-2889].

Source

Internet

Library*

LexisNexis

Westlaw

American Political Network, American Health Line: health care and policy

 

APN-HE (3/92)

ASAPII Publications: professional and popular health sources

NEWS;ASAPII (9/83)

BNA Health Care Daily: developments in health care and health law

 

**BNA-HCD (10/92)

Current Contents: tables of contents for journals

 

Web (1997), UW restricted

Health News: group news database

 

HEALTH;ALLNWS

HTHNEWS (1984)

Health Care Services Industry News: group file

 

WNS-HC (1984)

Pharmaceutical News Index: current information about drugs, medical devices and related fields

 

PNI (12/75)

Science.gov: email alert service from federal government http://www.science.gov/ 

Westlaw Topical Highlights: summaries of cases and other developments in health law

 

WTH-HTH (current data)

UnCover: tables of contents for journals

Web (1988)

* See list of databases available through the UW Libraries Research Databases at http://www.lib.washington.edu/. UW restricted means that you must access them on campus or via the UW Internet Connectivity Kit. Also see the list of databases at http://healthlinks.washington.edu/databases/.

** Not available on the academic contract.

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5. Internet Resources: A Few Starting Points

UW HEALTHLINKS, http://healthlinks.washington.edu/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov

National Institutes of Health, http://www.nih.gov/

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (formerly Health Care Financing Administration), http://cms.hhs.gov/

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, http://www.ahrq.gov/

President's Council on Bioethics, http://bioethics.gov/

National Library of Medicine, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/

healthfinder, http://www.healthfinder.gov

World Health Organization, http://www.who.int/

Washington State Department of Health, http://www.doh.wa.gov/

Citizens for Patients Rights, http://www.ctpatientsrights.org/index.html

Health Law Links, http://law.slu.edu/healthlaw/research/links/index.html

American Health Lawyers Association, http://www.healthlawyers.org

American Medical Association, http://www.ama-assn.org/

Health Hippo, http://hippo.findlaw.com/

Duke University Center for Health Policy, Law & Management, http://www.hpolicy.duke.edu/cyberexchange/

Emory University MedWeb, http://www.medweb.emory.edu/MedWeb/

Mayo Clinic Health Oasis, http://www.mayohealth.org

HealthAtoZ, http://www.healthatoz.com

Gallagher Law Library Internet Legal Resources http://lib.law.washington.edu/research/research.html

'Lectric Law Library Lawcopedia's Medical Malpractice, http://www.lectlaw.com/tmed.html

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6. Medical Malpractice Research Guide

Sheryl Summers Kramer, "A Research Guide to Medical Malpractice and the Law: Revisited," 20 Legal Ref. Serv. Q. (4) 111-126 (2001).

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