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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Contemporary Issues in Medical Jurisprudence (LAWS10165)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaLaw Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course is designed to engage students with current live issues arising in the field of medical jurisprudence, being a disciplines which sits at the cross-roads between law, medicine and ethics and is concerned primarily with legal and social responses to advances in medicine, healthcare and related technologies.

The course is deliberately designed to be open and responsive to issues that are current at the time of delivery in any given year. Accordingly, only broad indications as to topics and subject matter can be given is a description such as this. Likely issues to be covered include:

(a) start and end of life
(b) human genetics and biotechnologies
(c) regulation of medical research
(d) human enhancement
(e) Avoiding Frankenstein futures

The main aims of the course are:

- To equip students with deep and highly-responsive critical faculties to address medical and technical advances where the legal response is as yet under-developed or manifestly inadequate
- To expose students to cutting-edge research approaches in medical jurisprudence allied to the work of the School of Law and its Mason Institute in order to develop appropriate skills for a new generation of medical lawyers and ethicists
- To explore new ways of critiquing, understanding and shaping our legal and social responses to advance in medicine, healthcare and related technologies.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None, but Fundamental Issues in Medical Jurisprudence highly recommended
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone, but Fundamental Issues in Medical Jurisprudence highly recommended
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  No Quota:  25
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
1. 1. Knowledge and Sources of Law:

- To identify both likely areas of law relevant to contemporary issues in medical jurisprudence as well as gaps or instances of inappropriate or over-regulation
- To build on understandings of fundamental areas of medical jurisprudence such as consent, confidentiality, human rights etc
- To consider international dimensions, including the growing importance of European regulation and international agreements
- To explore the limits of law in discerning appropriate social responses to new medical and technical advances.

2. 2. Subject-specific Skills:

- To develop and apply critical thinking informed by ethical and social science analysis
- To apply said critical thinking to comment upon and critique of law┐s role and appropriate responses to contemporary issues in medical jurisprudence

3. 3. General Transferable Intellectual Skills:

- Independent critical analysis
- Interdisciplinary understandings of common problems
- Problem-solving through reasoned and well-justified ethical and legal discourse
- Synthesis of complex information and ability to subject to informed critique
- To foster imaginative ways of unpacking and responding to contemporary issues in ways that do not necessarily follow or merely apply existing paradigms or legal constructs.

4. 4. Key Personal Skills:

- Written and oral skills necessary to deliver the above
- Group working and interaction
- Intellectual development through interdisciplinary engagement
- Autonomous working and independent critical capacity

5. 5. Subject-specific Legal and Ethical Values:

- autonomy
- critical self-reflection
- consideration of others
- academic integrity
- healthy scepticism
Assessment Information
The proposed assessment consists of three parts:

1. 75% take home essay during the exam diet immediately following course delivery. This would be released on the last day of teaching in March and submission would be on a pre-agreed date in April before the start of the exam diet.
2. 15% assessment of group presentation to be made up of: (i) content and structure of the seminar itself, including advance reading material distributed, (ii) clarity of division of labour and responsibility of tasks within group ┐ to be submitted in written form, and (iii) ability to distil clear objectives and conclusions from the experience.
3. 10% individual blog by students to be maintained throughout the course.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Given the deliberately open and responsive nature of this course, it would be inappropriate to attempt to give concrete topics. The topics will be chosen with the class in any given year under the oversight and direction of the course teachers. A broad indication of contemporary live topics will be introduced by the course teachers and it will be for students to decide amongst themselves which areas they would like to explore further. Suggestions and proposals will be invited from the students. Group interaction in this process will be encouraged and this will then be used as a means to take learning forward. Groups will be assisted to choose topics, develop materials, prepare to lead on seminar discussions, and to encourage mutual learning. The first few sessions will be led by staff as exemplars of the kinds of critical approaches and insights that can be explored. Skills development is central the course and will form an early part of the course interaction.

Thus, the overall outline of the course will have the following format:

Part 1 ┐ Skills development (weeks 1-4)
1. Introduction: the course, expectations, likely topics and possible groups
2. Final topics selection and group allocation confirmation (4 people x 6)
3. Key skills development in critical thinking: live staff example
4. Submission of preliminary reading lists from all groups and running order of groups selected at random

Part 2 ┐ Exploring contemporary issues (weeks 5-10)

Expectations for each seminar include:

a. Student-led seminar based on student-prepared reading material to be distributed in advance (hence topic and group selection in Week 2 and reading material distributed in Week 4)
b. Clear written allocation of responsibility within the group for preparation and delivery of seminar (decided and managed by group)
c. Full participation in discussion by all ┐ encouraged through participation assessment via student blogs
d. Clear objectives and conclusions to be prepared by group
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern 1 x 2 hour seminar per week
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Graeme Laurie
Tel: (0131 6)50 2020
Course secretaryMs Krystal Hanley
Tel: (0131 6)50 2056
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