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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Fundamental Issues in Medical Jurisprudence (LAWS11328)

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
SummaryThis course serves as a foundation for critical analytical engagement with the core features of the discipline of medical jurisprudence, being the relationship between law and ethics in the provision of healthcare, the influence of human rights on medical practice, the importance of consent, confidentiality and medical negligence in shaping the contours of the doctor/patient relationship, as well as issues relating to health research and public health.
Course description The core aims of the course are:

To foster a critical understanding of the principal elements of medical jurisprudence;

» To develop a critical appreciation of the principal theories, principles and concepts that inform the relationship between medical ethics and medical law;

» To support students to demonstrate originality and creativity in the application of their knowledge, understanding of the law to address current issues facing healthcare professionals and medical lawyers in everyday aspects of medicine;

» To encourage development of original and creative responses to problems and issues thrown up by medical practice for law and ethics, especially where the current legal response is wanting or absent;

» To equip students to deal with complex ethical and professional issues and to make informed judgements on issues not addressed by current professional and/or ethical codes or practices.

The type of issues that may be taught and discussed during the course include:

Health institutions and systems
» Consent and Autonomy
» Medical Confidentiality
» Clinical Negligence and Patient Redress
» Organ Donation for Transplantation
» Ownership of Bodily Materials
» Health Research
» Public Health
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, 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) The coursework will consist of an essay of 4,000 words (100%).
Feedback Feedback on the formative assessment may be provided in various formats, for example, to include written, oral, whole class, or individual. The course organiser will decide which format is most appropriate in relation to the nature of the assessment. In the feedback provided, students will be asked to reflect on the feedback provided as it is designed to assist with the preparation of the summative assessment for the course.

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.

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
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental elements of medical jurisprudence and an understanding of the interaction between ethics, law and professional guidance in informing and shaping contemporary medical practice.
  2. Critically analyse medico-legal scenarios, drawing on ethical schools of thought and professional standards as necessary, in order to demonstrate original and creative applications of knowledge and understanding with respect to the scenarios under scrutiny.
  3. Conduct independent study and research to a high level that demonstrates knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the importance of interaction between law, ethics and professional guidance in the shaping of medical law and associated policies.
  4. Engage critically in a group scenario on issues of contemporary medico-legal relevance, drawing on a range of ethical, legal and professional sources and to justify robustly any positions taken or defended.
  5. Manage time effectively, preparing for deep engagement in class, to conduct research for assignments to the requisite level and to demonstrate improvement over the course of the module.
Reading List
The core text for this course is Mason and McCall Smith¿s Law and Medical Ethics, 12th Edition (July 2023)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and Understanding
- A critical awareness and understanding of concepts and theories applicable to core issues in medical jurisprudence
- Acquisition of knowledge that is critical to an informed understanding of core issues in medical jurisprudence including but not limited including key terminology, concepts and ideas

Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding
- Application of knowledge and understanding of core issues in medical jurisprudence to ethical and legal problems in health and medicine
- Application of a range of advanced research, argumentative skills techniques of enquiry in addressing ethical and legal problems arising in core topics in medical jurisprudence

Generic Cognitive Skills
- Identify, conceptualise and define core topics in medical jurisprudence
- Apply synthesis and evaluation skills in examining core issues in medical jurisprudence
- Critically analyse and extend knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in relation to core topics in medical jurisprudence

Communication Skills
- Advanced oral and written communication skills in critically discussing and analysing core topics in medical jurisprudence
- Communicate, using appropriate oral and written methods, to a range of audiences in relation to core topics in medical jurisprudence

Autonomy, accountability and collaboration
- Exercise substantial initiative in critical argumentation and analysis in relation to core topics in medical jurisprudence
- Take responsibility for own work and responsibility for collaboration in addressing core topics in medical jurisprudence
KeywordsMedical Law,Medical Ethics,Jurisprudence,Healthcare,Ethics,Postgraduate,Level 11,LLM
Course organiserMs Annie Sorbie
Tel: (0131 6)50 3633
Course secretaryMiss Bethan Walters
Tel: (0131 6)50 2386
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