Module SXL-3149:
Medical Law and Ethics

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Mrs Ann McLaren

Overall aims and purpose

Medical Law and Ethics is an important area of law which affects everyday life. The module will examine the relationship between law and medicine at a time when the Courts are more willing to challenge decisions made by doctors. The link between medical law and Ethics is important, patients should have the right to make decisions over what medical treatment they receive, medical ethics looks at Genetics and the 'reproductive torts' and at Ethical approval and research. The module will examine these areas at a time when the NHS is under increasing pressure and under the 'spot light' as never before, with the 'rationing' of some treatments and increased litigation. Seminars will provide an opportunity to students to further explore each area to 'problem solve' and to undertake some research into an area of their own interest and choice.

Course content

The module will allow the student to study medical Law and Ethics, in particular the law relating to consent to medical treatment, withholding and withdrawing care, medical negligence, human rights and medical practice, Ethical principles, Genetics, reproduction and the Law, research and ethical approval and mental capacity and mental capacity and mental health. Where appropropriatye comparative examples will be used to illustrate problems and the need for reform.

Assessment Criteria

good

To achieve an Upper Second Class (B) grade, the assessment must: • Demonstrate strong knowledge and understanding of most of the area of law, including familiarity with relevant case law, legislation, academic debates and any recent or anticipated developments. Be able to identify most legal issues and apply relevant law. • Demonstrate evidence of background study, using appropriate sources, including case law, legislation and academic commentary such as journal articles, law books and authoritative reports. • Be well structured, including the coherent development of arguments and the use of an introduction and conclusion, and focussed on the question asked, including the ability to determine what is relevant and the omission of superfluous information/material. • Contain coherently presented arguments, which are based on appropriate research and legal analysis. • Be mostly free from substantive legal errors. • Include some elements of original interpretation, including depth of analysis and the ability to present arguments based on sound legal reasoning. • Be presented to high standards with accurate communication, including the use of language and grammar, layout of the text, footnote referencing, bibliography and adherence to the stipulated word limit.

A B+ grade: • Exceeds expectations for some of the above criteria; • Demonstrates command of the subject matter, but with some gaps in knowledge; • Incorporates some original ideas or arguments.

A B grade: • Meets all of the above criteria; • Demonstrates strong factual knowledge and understanding; • Ideas or arguments are well-presented but few are original.

A B- grade: • Meets most but not all of the above criteria; • Demonstrates strong factual knowledge with minor weaknesses in understanding; • Most but not all of the ideas or arguments are well-presented and few are original.

excellent

To achieve a First Class (A) grade, the assessment must: • Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and detailed understanding of the area of law, including familiarity with relevant case law, legislation, academic debates and any recent or anticipated developments. Be able to identify all legal issues and apply relevant law. • Demonstrate extensive background study as appropriate to the assessment method, using appropriate sources, including case law, legislation and academic commentary such as journal articles, law books and authoritative reports. • Be well structured, including the coherent development of arguments and the use of an introduction and conclusion, and highly focussed on the question asked, including the ability to determine what is relevant and the omission of superfluous information/material. • Contain logically presented and defended arguments, which are based on appropriate research and legal analysis. • Be completely free from substantive legal errors. • Include significant elements of original interpretation, including depth of analysis and the ability to present arguments based on sound legal reasoning. • Be presented to very high standards with very accurate communication, including the use of language and grammar, layout of the text, footnote referencing, bibliography and adherence to the stipulated word limit.

An A* grade: • Exceeds expectations for most of the above criteria; • Demonstrates complete command of the subject matter; • Incorporates highly original ideas or arguments.

An A+ grade: • Exceeds expectations for some of the above criteria; • Demonstrates complete command of the subject matter; • Incorporates highly original ideas or arguments.

An A grade: • Meets all of the above criteria; • Demonstrates command of the subject matter, with only very minor gaps in knowledge; • Incorporates mostly original ideas or arguments.

An A- grade: • Meets most but not all of the above criteria; • Demonstrates command of the subject matter, with some gaps in knowledge; • Incorporates mostly original ideas or arguments.

threshold

To achieve a Third Class (D) grade, the assessment must: • Demonstrate a very basic knowledge and understanding of some of the key case law/legislation and principles in the area of law. Be able to identify some legal issues and apply relevant law. • Demonstrate some, if only limited, evidence of background study, using appropriate case law and legislation. • Attempt to present an answer on the question asked, with only some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure. • Attempt to present relevant and coherent arguments, which are based on appropriate legal analysis. • Not contain a large number of substantive legal errors. • Demonstrate an attempt to avoid major weaknesses in presentation and accuracy, albeit with some errors in referencing, spelling and grammar, or bibliography present.

A D+ grade: • Exceeds expectations for some of the above criteria; • Demonstrates moderate factual knowledge with some weaknesses in understanding; • A few ideas/arguments are presented but with weaknesses in logic/presentation.

A D grade: • Meets all of the above criteria; • Demonstrates limited factual knowledge with several weaknesses in understanding; • Very few ideas/arguments are presented.

A D- grade: • Meets most but not all of the above criteria; • Demonstrates limited factual knowledge with many weaknesses in understanding; • Very few ideas/arguments are presented and with errors in logic/presentation.

C- to C+

To achieve a Lower Second Class (C) grade, the assessment must: • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key areas/principles in the area of law, including familiarity with the essential case law, legislation and academic debates in the area. Be able to identify the key legal issues and apply relevant law. • Demonstrate some, if only limited, evidence of background study, using appropriate sources, including some relevant case law, legislation and academic commentary such as journal articles, law books and authoritative reports. • Be focussed on the question asked, with only some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure. • Attempt to present some relevant and logical arguments. • Not contain a large number of substantive legal errors. • Be free of major weaknesses in presentation and accuracy, including the use of language and grammar, layout of the text, footnote referencing, bibliography and adherence to the stipulated word limit.

A C+ grade: • Exceeds expectations for some of the above criteria; • Demonstrates strong factual knowledge with some weaknesses in understanding; • Ideas/arguments are limited but are well presented.

A C grade: • Meets all of the above criteria; • Demonstrates moderate factual knowledge with some weaknesses in understanding; • Ideas or arguments are limited with weaknesses in logic/presentation.

A C- grade: • Meets most but not all of the above criteria; • Demonstrates moderate factual knowledge with some weaknesses in understanding; • Ideas or arguments are limited with weaknesses in logic/presentation.

Learning outcomes

  1. Describe and analyse the main areas of medical Law and Ethics

  2. Demonstrate an ability to critically engage with key issues in medical law.

  3. Carry out effective research on legal issues using primary and secondary sources.

  4. Demonstrate an ability to critically engage with key issues in medical ethics.

  5. Explain and demonstrate an advanced knowledge of the main medical-legal concepts and issues in the practice of modern patient care.

  6. Expand the legal and ethical principles and roles which are relevant citing appropriate authority for propositions of law.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Final Examination 2
Written assignment 1

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study 156
Seminar

Seminars – one two-hour seminar weekly over 22 weeks

44

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Develop the ability to interpret legal rules and employ techniques of legal reasoning competently and efficiently in order to offer a range of solutions and conclusions to actual or hypothetical complex legal problems, all supported by relevant academic literature, jurisprudence and legislative research. Such solutions will be clearly communicated and presented
  • Develop the ability to analyse complex legal issues, set against the background of the political, social, economic or cultural contexts in which they may arise
  • Develop those skills which are necessary for scholarship and research in legal subjects, namely the ability to identify relevant primary and secondary legal sources and to retrieve accurate legal information using paper and electronic sources

Resources

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: