Skip to main content

Health Law: Primary Sources

This guide will assist researchers with locating primary and secondary health law resources.

Primary Sources for Health Law

Primary sources are statements of law from an authorized governing body.  Common examples include statutes, administrative regulations, and case law.  This page contains links to:

Federal Statutes in Print

There are three print sources for federal statutes in the NCCU Law Library.  All three sets have index volumes which allow you to look for laws by subject.  While the texts of the laws themselves remain the same in all three publications, the two unofficial versions of the code (USCA and USCS) contain citations to relevant cases, regulations, and secondary sources in the annotations after the statutes. 

Suggested sections of the United States Code include:

1.  Title 24 - Hospitals and Asylums

2.  Title 42 - Public Health and Welfare

Federal Statutes (Electronic Sources)

While there are many websites containing federal statutes, always make sure the website you are using is reputable and up-to-date. 


Case Law

After determining what statutes/administrative regulations are relevant to your research, it is often a good idea to locate cases which have explained and interpreted the law.  Cases are published in books called "reporters" in chronological order.  West publishes a series known as "digests" which provide one paragraph summaries of cases, arranged alphabetically by subject.  If you don't have a citation to a case, it is usually a good idea to start case law research by first checking the appropriate digest for the subject you are looking for.  Suggested digest searches include:

1.  Health

2.  Hospital

3.  Insurance

Federal Administrative Regulations in Print

Administrative agencies are granted authority by statute and are part of the executive branch of government.  Examples of typical administrative agency activities include creating regulations and acting in a quasi-judicial capacity to adjudicate disputes.  The regulations created by agencies are similar to statutes, but are much more specific in nature, as agencies have subject specific expertise in particular fields.  Some suggested sections of the Code of Federal Regulations relevant to health law include:

1.  CFR 21 - Food and Drugs

2.  CFR 42 - Public Health

Federal Administrative Regulations (Electronic Sources)

While there are many web pages containing federal administrative regulations, be sure the site you are using is reputable and contains up-to-date information. 

All federal agencies have their own website.  Example sites that might be of use to those researching health care law include:

1.  Administration for Children and Families

2.  Agency for Health Care Research and Quality

3.  Department of Health and Human Services


More Ways to Contact Us

TXT us at 919.648.0247

Email us at

Call us at 919.530.6715

Ask a Librarian