Introduction to Medical Law
Law (School of)
Undergraduate: Level 6
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
02 August 2019
Requisites for this module
This module will provide students with a detailed understanding of the general principles of medical law, including the significance of patient autonomy, capacity, consent to medical treatment, medical negligence and medical confidentiality. While the focus of the module is on legal issues, ethical considerations underlying this area of the law will also be addressed.
Teaching will begin with an overview of some of the main theories of medical ethics and their application in the context of medical confidentiality. Several weeks will then be dedicated to the law on consent to medical treatment, in particular questions such as: who can make decisions where a person needs medical treatment? Is an adult's right to make his/her own decisions absolute, or can it be limited, for example, if the adult lacks an understanding of the consequences of the decision, or where the refusal of treatment would lead to the person's death? Who can make treatment decisions if an adult lacks the ability to make his/her own decisions, and according to which criteria? And what about medical treatment of children?
The last part of the module will discuss some of the main issues in the law of medical negligence. For example, how is the physician's duty of care to the patient defined? Is this a question for the medical profession to decide, or should the judges define the standard of care? And how can causation be determined? Looking at developments in case law from Bolam to Bolitho and post-Bolitho cases, the different approaches to this question, and their consequences for both physicians and patients, will be discussed. A special problem in the context of medical negligence is how much information does a physician need to give to a patient prior to medical treatment. The move from a position where it was left to the medical profession to determine what and how much information a patient should be given (Sidaway) to a patient-centered approach (Montgomery) will be analysed.
The objectives of the module are:
- To provide students with the necessary foundations of knowledge so that the Learning Outcomes listed below are met
- To develop the capacity of students for critical analysis and to encourage independent research and reasoned argumentation.
Upon successful completion of the module students will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the general principles of medical law, of the law on consent to medical treatment, and medical negligence
- Show understanding of the case law and legislation governing the areas covered by this module
- Demonstrate understanding of the interplay between ethical issues and legal principles in the context of medical law, and of the policy debates that led to the shaping of the law in the area
No additional information available.
The module will be taught as a mixture of lectures and seminars. Students are expected to carry out preparatory reading prior to each seminar.
This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Professor Sabine Michalowski, Dr Jaime Lindsey
Law General Office, 01206 872529, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms Annette Marie Morris
Reader in Law
Available via Moodle
Of 50 hours, 50 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).
Law (School of)
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