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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Public Health Ethics and Law (LAWS11398)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryPublic Health Ethics and Law offers a grounding of the fundamentals elements of public health ethics and law. It explores the form and function of public health through the ethical values, concepts and tensions at play, and considers how these (should) inform policy and practice. It supports the students in critically assessing the legal and regulatory frameworks in which public health operates, and examines the primary national and international institutions that are responsible for public health interventions and/or respond to public health needs.

The aims of the course are to:
* investigate the ethical and legal concepts, mechanisms and challenges that shape public health and public health discourse and practice;
* apply interdisciplinary, collaborative skills that combine law and ethics, to support students in analysing how to address public health challenges;
* examine in depth the values and tensions that underpin public health measures and interventions; and
* develop critical skills in students in forming an understanding of the interplay between public health, human rights, development, commerce and security.
Course description Week 1: Course Introduction /Ethical, Legal and Historical Foundations of Public Health
Week 2: The Ethics of Prevention
Week 3: Public Health Ethics, Health Inequalities and Social Determinants of Health
Week 4: The Ethics of Health Promotion
Week 5: Global Health and International Public Health Concerns
Week 6: No class: Reading Week
Week 7: EU and International Public Health Law
Week 8: Public Law and Public Health
Week 9: Public Health Policy and Regulation
Week 10: Student Presentations
Week 11: Student Presentations
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
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 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formative Assessment:«br /»
«br /»
Students will be asked to write a memo (1000 words) to NHS Health Scotland on a topic of public health importance in Scotland (topic to be announced in class in Weeks 1 or 2), addressing the following issues:«br /»
* What is the urgency of this issue?«br /»
* Outline a public health proposal to address the issue.«br /»
* What legal and ethical issues are raised? Discuss and evaluate.«br /»
* What are the ethical justifications for intervention? «br /»
* Is there empirical data related to the issue? Is further research needed?«br /»
* Discuss pros and cons of regulating in this area, and variations on the proposal (i.e. more sweeping, less sweeping).«br /»
* Recommend a course of action.«br /»
«br /»
Summative Assessment: «br /»
«br /»
* Class participation = 20%«br /»
* One presentation in final two weeks of class (15-minutes in duration, presentated in pairs) = 30% «br /»
* One essay (4000 words, choice from 4 questions) = 50%
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. A critical understanding of the principle theories and concepts underpinning public health ethics and law.
  2. A critical awareness of the current issues related to public health within Scotland, the UK, and globally.
  3. A thorough understanding of how public health ethics and laws sits within the broader context of medical law and ethics.
Reading List
Core Textbook:

John Coggon, Keith Syrett, A. M. Viens, Public Health Law: Ethics, Governance, and Regulation (Routledge, 2016).

Angus Dawson, ed., Public Health Ethics (CUP, 2011).

Additional Reading:

John Coggon, What Makes Health Public?: A Critical Evaluation of Moral, Legal, and Political Claims in Public Health (CUP, 2012).

Lawrence O. Gostin, Lindsay F. Wiley, Public Health Law: Power, Duty, Restraint (3rd edition) (University of California Press, 2016).

Stephen Holland, Public Health Ethics (2nd Edition) (Polity Press, 2015).

Journal articles and book chapters will be the primary assigned readings for this course. The following is an indicative list of journal titles, to which the library already holds a subscription:
* Public Health Ethics
* European Journal of Public Health
* American Journal of Public Health
* Global Public Health
* Critical Public Health
* Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills * Students will be able to plan and execute an oral presentation in pairs.
* Critical research skills will be developed in preparing for the oral presentation and summative essay.
* Advanced practical application of ethics and law will be acquired through the course in both group presentation and individual research.
* Individual assessed work will allow the students to exercise academic autonomy and professional delivery of research findings.
* Advanced critical research, argumentation and communication skills.
* Communication of complex ethical and legal issues to a range of audiences.
* Advanced written and oral communication of complex ethical and legal issues.
* Plan and execute an oral presentation utilising practice-relevant materials.
* Critical ethical and legal analysis. Problem-solving.
* Sophisticated use of primary and secondary materials, and the ability to articulate their meaning both orally and in writing.
* Identify and conceptualise contemporary problems and issues in public health.
KeywordsEthics,Public Health,Health Inequalities,Health Promotion,Global,EU,Health Policy
Course organiserMr Edward Dove
Tel: (0131 6)50 6320
Course secretaryMs Lisa Kilcullen
Tel: (0131 6)51 5997
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