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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Law and Medical Ethics: Fundamentals in Consent and Negligence (LAWS11260)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaLaw Other subject areaNone
Course website Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThe primary function of the course is to discuss the relationship between the law and the practice of medicine with particular emphasis on modern developments in the latter. The law must be founded on sound moral principles; moreover, medicine is, in many ways, running in advance of legal precedent. On both counts, therefore, the issues must also be considered on an ethical plane and this aspect will be emphasised repeatedly. In this course there is a basis for concentration on fundamental or generally applicable issues in medicine as a field which raises many moral issues. Several controversial areas will be covered, particular importance being laid on current concepts of consent to and refusal of medical treatment, human rights, negligence and mental health.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Please contact the distance learning team at
Additional Costs Students should have regular and reliable access to the Internet. Print consumables are recommended to provide hard copy of some on screen materials.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesPlease contact the distance learning team at
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  No Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Class Delivery Information This course is taught by distance learning.
Course Start Date 16/09/2013
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 40, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 156 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course, you will:
1. have a good idea of the basic legal and ethical conflicts which arise in the practice of modern medicine;
2. understand such concepts as personhood, paternalism and autonomy and will be able to evaluate the importance and limitations of consent to medical procedures;
3. have formed a sense of the structure and concepts involved in negligence from both legal and medical practice perspectives;
4. and have looked at all these issues in the context of comparative jurisdictions.
This is not primarily a course on litigation for medical negligence. Nor is it concerned with what is generally known as forensic medicine.
Assessment Information
One essay of up to 4,000 words (60%); one individual assignment (20%); contribution to weekly online discussions throughout the semester (20%). Requirements for all module assessment will be outlined to students within the individual modules at the start of each semester.
Special Arrangements
This course is taught by distance learning.
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus 1. Ethics, law & medicine
2. Professional regulation, healthcare access & human rights
3. Consent to treatment
4. Refusal & withdrawal of consent
5. Negligence 1: Fundamentals
6. Negligence 2: Evidence, defences, remedies & issues
7. Confidentiality
8. Genetics & genetic technologies
9. Public health & product liability
10.Mental health
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Gerard Porter
Tel: (0131 6)50 2023
Course secretaryMs Clare Polson
Tel: (0131 6)51 4411
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