Postgraduate Course: End of Life, Ethics and Law (LAWS11468)
|School||School of Law
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This course provides students with an understanding of the law, policy and precedent associated with the decision-making processes at the end of life. It provides a solid legal grounding in this area by focusing on four key topics: definition of death; medical futility; euthanasia; and assisted suicide.
This course operates in an area fraught with legal and ethical dilemmas. It will equip students to navigate a range of statute, case law, policy and relevant legal and ethical secondary material in order to critically analyse extant frameworks in this controversial field. The core focus of this course will be UK jurisprudence, but it will also provide scope for students to reflect on the issues raised in relation to other jurisdictions.
This course will consist of five (5) seminars examining key legal and ethical issues arising at the end of life:
Seminar 1: Death
An introduction to definitions and terminology, including rules around the removal from life support and on organ transplantation.
Seminar 2: Medical Futility
The definition of medical futility and its legal relevance and application to children, adults, and patients in a permanent vegetative state.
Seminar 3: Advance decision-making
Non treatment and pain relief at the end of life including advance directives, artificial nutrition and hydration, and palliative sedation.
Seminar 4: Euthanasia
Terminology and principled positions, including active euthanasia and passive non-voluntary eiuthanasia.
Seminar 5: Assisted suicide
Active voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, distinguishing assisted suicide from euthanasia, and considering legislative reforms in the UK and abroad.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Summative Assessment Components:
1) 3,000 word essay (75%)
2) 1,000 word written policy brief (25%)
3) 1,000 word formative essay
||Feedback on the formative and summative assessments will be given in written form for written submissions, and written and oral form for contribution to class discussions
Feedback on both formative and summative in-course assessed work will be provided in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course. Students are expected to make use of feedback given on the 1,000 word formative essay, to enhance their 1,000 word written policy briefs and 3,000 word summative essays.
Feedback on the summative assessment will be provided in written form via Learn, the University of Edinburgh's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate critical understanding of the principal legal, ethical and policy frameworks that govern the end of life.
- Identify, analyse and argue issues of law, ethics and policy relating to decision-making at the end of life.
- Demonstrate the ability to work independently in researching and analysing issues in law and ethics at the end of life.
- Communicate clearly through class participation and written assignments their understanding and application of the legal issues covered by the course.
|There will be no set text for this course, but reading lists are likely to include:|
Emily Jackson, Medical Law: Text, Cases and Materials (5th ed) (OUP, 2019)
Graeme Laurie, Shawn Harmon and Edward Dove, Mason and McCall Smith¿s Law and Medical Ethics (11th ed) (OUP, 2019)
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Knowledge and Understanding:
The student will be able to demonstrate critical understanding of the principal legal, ethical and policy frameworks that govern the end of life.
Graduate Attributes: Skills and abilities in Research and Enquiry:
The student will be able to identify, analyse and argue issues of law, ethics and policy relating to decision-making at the end of life.
Graduate Attributes: Skills and abilities in Personal and Intellectual Autonomy
The student will be able to demonstrate the ability to work independently in researching and analysing issues in law and ethics at the end of life.
Graduate Attributes: Skills and abilities in Communication
The student will be able to communicate clearly through class participation and written assignments their
understanding and application of the legal issues covered by the course.
|Keywords||Medical Law,Ethics,Postgraduate,LLM,Level 11,Law
|Course organiser||Dr Murray Earle
Tel: (0131 6)50 8183
|Course secretary||Miss Bethan Walters
Tel: (0131 6)50 2386