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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: European Health Care Law (LAWS11256)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis module covers areas of European law applicable to health care, and to health systems and health policy.

While the EU has no formal power to develop its own health care law, it does have competence to carry out actions to support, coordinate or supplement national actions in, inter alia, the health field. But in order that students properly understand that, the course will begin by looking at important milestones in the history of the EU, and those provisions in the Treaty of Lisbon applicable to health. EU structures and bodies will also be introduced and explained at the start of the module.

Armed with this foundation understanding, and having considered the relationship between EU health initiatives and Member State health policies, students should be able to better address specific areas of EU law applicable to health. They will also be able to consider and debate the following areas:

1. The relationship between law, politics and public health policies
2. The EU health care law matrix of super-state, state and sub-state agencies
3. EU preventive and incentive measures

Through the course, a number of specific issues will be addressed, including:

1. Organ donation and the competences (and limits) of EU actions
2. Tobacco regulation affecting trade, justified on the ground of the 'health' derogation.
3. Detection and control of communicable diseases: an incentive-driven preventive health measure
4. The Cross Border Health Care and Patients┐ Rights directives and whether they will do more than codify existing EU law as it applies to free movement of persons in the health care context.
5. The Consumer Protection and Data Protection directives and whether they are fit for health care purposes

At relevant points in the module, we will look at cross-border issues in specific Member States or regions. This will be facilitated by discussion of scenarios that will have been contributed by colleagues connected to the European Association of Health Law.

Course description Session 1: Introduction to EU law and health care
Session 2: The EU health care law matrix: institutions, health policy and Member State health systems governance
Session 3: Economic and other drivers designed to shape national health policies
Session 4: The internal market, competition law and free movement of goods
Session 5: Health care delivery and free movement of goods
Session 6: Health care delivery and free movement of services and data
Session 7: Free movement of patients I: principles
Session 8: Rights and regulation of health professionals and EU social and employment law
Session 9: Free movement of patients II: mechanisms
Session 10: Free movement of patients III: effects
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.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
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 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One essay of up to 4,000 words (60%); multiple-choice questions posted at four intervals during the module (20%); and the portfolio of contributions to online discussions (20%).

Requirements for all module assessment will be outlined to students at the start of semester.
Feedback Students can expect to receive timely feedback on their assessments.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the specific areas of EU law applicable to health
  2. Articulate and constructively comment upon the inter-relationships between law, politics and economics in the development and implementation of public health policies
  3. Give a critical account of the EU health care law matrix of super-state, state and sub-state agencies
  4. Evaluate the impact of EU preventive and incentive measures
  5. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of topical issues in health care law generally, and of specific contexts and developments in different member states; and apply advanced research, analysis and writing skills in the specialist field of European health care law.
Reading List
There are two books applicable to this module. The set text is ┐Health systems governance in Europe: the role of European Union law and policy┐, edited by Elias Mossialos, Govin Permanand, Rita Baeten and Tamara K Hervey. This book is available to download from the World Health Organization web site: Health Systems Governance in Europe: The Role of EU Law and Policy.

It is important to bear in mind, however, that the publication of this book predated the Lisbon Treaty, or the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU); this will affect the numbering of relevant Articles in the TFEU (though equivalent numbering is given in the text of the TFEU).

A more recent and comprehensive title is Tamara K Hervey & Jean V McHale, European Union Health Law: Themes and Implications. Cambridge University Press. 2015. (This is freely available when logging in via your Edinburgh University account.) Again, individual chapters will be referred to throughout the course.

Due to the nature of the discipline, sources tend to be from journals and online publications, the most useful of which is the European Journal of Health Law, available online through IngentaConnect.

In addition, the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies publishes the online journal Eurohealth as well as a number of Policy Briefs.

A list of key module readings will be available in advance of the module. Detailed reading lists are then available each week.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will develop their skills and abilities in:

1. Research and enquiry, through e.g. selecting and deploying appropriate research techniques;
2. Personal and intellectual autonomy, e.g. developing the ability to independently assess the relevance and importance of primary and secondary sources;
3. Communication, e.g. skills in summarising and communicating information and ideas effectively in written form;
4. Personal effectiveness, e.g. working constructively as a member of an online community;
5. Students will also develop their technical/practical skills, throughout the module, e.g. in articulating, evidencing and sustaining a line of argument, and engaging in a convincing critique of another's arguments.
Special Arrangements This course is taught by distance learning.
Additional Class Delivery Information This course is taught by distance learning.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Murray Earle
Tel: (0131 6)50 8183
Course secretaryMs Clare Polson
Tel: (0131 6)51 9704
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