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Health care law - LAW00032I

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  • Department: The York Law School
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Isra Black
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module summary

This module provides an introduction to English health care law. Students will examine the 'general part' of health care law, ie, the rules that govern consents, refusals, and requests for medical treatment for individuals at various life stages, as well as the legal regime for the allocation of scarce medical resources. Students will apply their knowledge of the general part, and engage with topics in the 'special part' of health care law through problem-based learning, eg the legal regimes that govern abortion, assisted death, and organ transplantation. Students will also have to opportunity to engage with seminal contributions to the bioethics literature in small groups.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21 to Summer Term 2020-21

Module aims

The module aims, as part of the overall LLB programme, to enable students to develop new and further critical perspectives on law, whilst progressively developing core academic and legal skills.

This module aims to provide students with an introduction to English health care law, and in so doing, develop descriptive and evaluative skills in respect of primary and secondary legal materials.

Students will examine the 'general part' of health care law, ie, the rules that govern consents, refusals, and requests for medical treatment for individuals at various life stages, as well as the legal regime for the allocation of scarce medical resources. Students will apply their knowledge of the general part, and engage with topics in the 'special part' of health care law through problem-based learning, eg the legal regimes that govern abortion, assisted death, and organ transplantation. Students will also have to opportunity to engage with seminal contributions to the bioethics literature in small groups.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Explain, apply, discuss and critically evaluate well-established legal concepts, principles, theories and perspectives as they arise in the context of the legal framework that governs health care;
  • Discuss and critique the development and purpose of health care law and its interrelationship with society and other disciplines;
  • Develop individual opinions and arguments on legal issues and propositions arising in health care law, supported by appropriately critiqued academic evidence;
  • Apply and evaluate critically problem-solving strategies to develop and propose solutions to academic and practical legal problems;
  • Plan, implement and evaluate research methodologies and strategies, and locate relevant and reliable sources and authorities;
  • Communicate the outputs of the above in a variety of written and oral formats and contexts to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
  • Demonstrate understanding of norms of scholarly and professional legal practice ;
  • Reflect on learning and feedback, and use this in identifying future learning interests and needs.

Module content

Term 1 of the course takes place by way of lectures and discussion seminars. It engages in study of the 'general part' of health care law. We will cover:

  1. Consent to treatment;
  2. Incapacity;
  3. Children;
  4. Adolescents;
  5. Resource allocation.

Term 2 of the course has a problem-based learning model, complemented by an ethics reading group. Students will apply their knowledge of the general part of health care law in the study of four realistic factual scenarios, which also engage topics in the 'special part', ie discrete legal regimes, of health care law. PBL scenarios may cover topics including:

  • Abortion;
  • Organ transplantation;
  • The medical treatment of severely ill neonates/infants;
  • Withdrawal of treatment from individuals with a chronic disorder of consciousness;
  • Assisted death;
  • Assisted reproduction (eg in vitro feritilisation, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, surrogacy)

The ethics reading groups run in alternate weeks to PBL. Students will engage with seminal contributions to the bioethics literature on topics relating to the content of the current PBL.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 3000 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

Assessment of the module takes place by way of a problem question and law reform essay. Students will examine a factual scenario that raises legal issues relating to the general part and at least one topic in the special part of health care law, and engage in a two-part assessement.

  • Part I: students will identify the relevant legal issues, accurately set out the law that governs the issues, apply the law to the facts, and provide reasoned conclusions as to the likely outcome(s) for the parties involved.
  • Part II: students will write a law reform essay on the law that governs one of the legal issues raised by the problem scenario, drawing on the knowledge of health care law and the analytic skills gained throughout the year. The expectation is that students will also engage with appropriate secondary materials.

The suggested distribution of words between parts I and II is 1,800 and 1,200 respectively. However, this is not a prescription.

The course seeks to develop students' abilities to manipulate to legal problems (and thereby succeed at part I of the summative assessment) through embedded activities, eg short vignettes on weekly learning for discussion during seminars, and reapplication of the learning outcomes to the fact patterns of the scenarios during the problem-based learning phase.

To aid students with Part II of the assessment, there will be an opportunity to write a formative law reform essay in one area of health care law, for which students will receive written feedback from their tutor.

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 3000 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

The module contains a number of opportunities for formative feedback on the development of knowledge and skills:

  • through interaction in lectures;
  • through peer and tutor feedback in seminars and reading groups;
  • through peer discussion in problem-based learning, facilitated by tutors with subject-specific expertise;
  • through written feedback on formative assessment.

Summative feedback consists in generic and individualised written feedback on coursework.

Indicative reading

  1. Emily Jackson, Medical law: text, cases, and materials (4th edn, OUP 2016).
  2. Margaret Brazier & Emma Cave, Medicine, patients and the law (6th edn, Manchester University Press 2016).
  3. Graeme Laurie, Shawn Harmon, and Gerard Porter, Mason & McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics (11th edn, OUP 2019).
  4. Jonathan Herring, Medical Law and Ethics (7th edn OUP, 2018).

 



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

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