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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Fundamental Issues in Medical Jurisprudence (LAWS10166)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is designed as an introduction to medical jurisprudence, being an Honours level course that explores issues at the interface between law, medicine and ethics. The focus is primarily on the legal dimensions of the doctor/patient relationship and associated healthcare services, including public health, mental health and research governance within the NHS.

The aims of the course are:

- To introduce students to the stimulating and challenging dynamics of the interface between law, medicine and ethics in the delivery of core healthcare services and research practices
- To equip students with the necessary critical faculties with which to examine and evaluate the role of law and ethical discourse in the regulation of medicine and medical and clinical services, including research
- To develop writing and discursive skills on matters of significant contemporary importance in an interdisciplinary and ever-changing environment.
Course description The type of issues that may be taught and discussed during the course include:
Consent and Autonomy
Clinical negligence and patient redress
Organ donation for transplantation
Ownership and control of bodily materials
Public health
Health research governance
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Spaces on this course are allocated as part of the Law Honours Course Allocation process. Places are generally only available to students who must take Law courses. To request a space on this course, please email
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesThis course is only open to visiting students coming through a direct exchange with the School of Law (including Erasmus students on a Law-specific Exchange). Exchange students outside of Law and independent study abroad students are not eligible to enrol in this course, with no exceptions.

**Please note that 3rd year Law courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.**
Priority will be given to students studying on exchange within the Law department, and it is highly unlikely that there will be additional spaces for general exchange students & independent study abroad students to enrol; we will look into this on a case-by-case basis in September/January. Visiting students are advised to bear in mind that enrolment in specific courses can never be guaranteed, and you may need to be flexible in finding alternatives in case your preferred courses have no available space.

These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.

Students should have a sound grasp of the fundamentals of Delict, Contract, Property and Human Rights
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  34
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) The coursework will consist of an essay of 4,000 words (100%).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. 1. Knowledge and Sources of Law:

    To demonstrate a sound grasp of the foundational elements of medical jurisprudence, including the role of the laws of consent, negligence, confidentiality and the cross-cutting human rights dimensions
  2. 2. Subject-specific Skills:

    - To develop and apply critical thinking informed by ethical analysis
    - To apply said critical thinking to commentary and critique of law¿s role in regulating medicine and healthcare services, including research
  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
  4. 4. Key Personal Skills:

    - Written and oral skills necessary to deliver the above
    - Group working and interaction
    - Intellectual development through interdisciplinary engagement
  5. 5. Subject-specific Legal and Ethical Values:

    - autonomy
    - critical self-reflection
    - consideration of others
    - academic integrity
Reading List
The core text for this course is Mason and McCall Smith¿s Law and Medical Ethics, eleventh edition, OUP, 2019 (with Laurie, Harmon, Dove). This provides the foundational material for the entirety of the course. Multiple copies are available in the library.

Students will be directed to additional resources in the weekly handouts.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsFund Med
Course organiserMs Annie Sorbie
Tel: (0131 6)50 3633
Course secretaryMiss Emma Hughes
Tel: (0131 6)50 2008
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