LAW 2516 - Medical Law and Ethics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017

The course provides an introduction to ethics generally and more specifically to medical ethics, examining in particular the principle of autonomy, which informs much of medical law. The course then considers the general part of medical law governing the legal relationship between medical practitioners and their patients. It considers the legal implications of the provision of medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. Selected medico-legal issues over a human life are also examined. These may include reproductive technologies, foetal rights, research on human subjects, organ donation, the rights of the dying and the legal definition of death.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 2516
    Course Medical Law and Ethics
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites LAW 1501
    Incompatible LAW 2021
    Restrictions Available to LLB students only
    Course Description The course provides an introduction to ethics generally and more specifically to medical ethics, examining in particular the principle of autonomy, which informs much of medical law. The course then considers the general part of medical law governing the legal relationship between medical practitioners and their patients. It considers the legal implications of the provision of medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. Selected medico-legal issues over a human life are also examined. These may include reproductive technologies, foetal rights, research on human subjects, organ donation, the rights of the dying and the legal definition of death.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Bernadette Richards

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    This course is designed to introduce the complex interplay between ethics and the law in the context of medical care. Students will be introduced to philosophical concepts along with legal principles which combine to protect the patient, healthcare professionals, and broad societal interest in a functioning healthcare system. Students will critically assess the role of the law in the medical context and identify the nexus between ethics and the law.

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1. Analyse the advanced principles of medical law, undertake self-directed legal research at an advanced level and evaluate legal and ethical information.
    2. Apply principles of medical law and ethics to complex problems, critique the operation of law in the context of medical treatment from a policy perspective, either individually or as part of a team.
    3. Structure and sustain concise and cohesive written and oral arguments for a mixed audience.
    4. Conduct legal research and analysis both independently and cooperatively in an academic environment.
    5. Analyse the impact medical law from a policy perspective.
    6. Reflect on their abilities to effectively undertake work as a member of a team.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    3
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    4
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    5
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    1. B.Richards and J.Louise, Medical Law and Ethics: A Problem-Based Approach (LexisNexis Butterworths, 2014)
    2. Materials available on MyUni
    Recommended Resources
    1. Ben White, Fiona McDonald and Lindy Wilmott (eds), Health Law in Australia (Thomson, Lawbook Co, 2010)
    2. Loane Skene, Law and Medical Practice 3rd ed. (LexisNexis Butterworths, 2008)
    3. There is a broad range of medical law texts and journals available in the Law Library, the leading learned medical law journal for Australia is the Journal of Law and Medicine, the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry is also of relevance. The leading medical law journal of the United Kingdom is the Medical Law Review and The Hasting Center Report is the leading US publication on bioethics.
    Online Learning
    All course materials are available on MyUni and please remember to check your student email as all course-related announcements are communicated via email.

    A compulsory component of your assessment in this course will be active participation in an on-line role-play (details set out below) and you will also be required to complete an online tutorial. The time commitment involved in these two activities will not be onerous and will reflect an active engagement with the course content as we progress through the semester
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will consist of a series of 12 lectures, to be conducted during the first 6 weeks of the semester. These lectures provide the essential theoretical foundation for seminar discussions which will commence in week 7 of the course. The seminars will address the intersection between the substantive law and ethical considerations along with a consideration of the role of policy. Students are strongly encouraged to attend the lectures and expected to attend seminars.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (ie those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. Students in this course are expected to attend all lectures which will presented during the 1st six weeks of the semester plus 6 seminars in the latter part of the semester. Please refer to Access Adelaide for your timetable and enrolment details.

    http://www.adelaide.edu.au/access/

    Learning Activities Summary
    The first 6 weeks of the course will consist of a series of lectures covering substantive law topics, these may include consent to treatment, capacity, regulation of medical professionals, organ donation, consent and the child, medical research and xenotransplantation. 

    The 6 seminars will explore the intersection of the substantive law and ethical considerations. They will be interactive in nature and there is an expectation that all students will attend. Topics may include: decision-making in a crisis, the ethics of organ donation, regulation of innovative treatment and protection of the vulnerable. 

    A comprehensive course topic list will be available at the commencement of the course.


    Small Group Discovery Experience
    All activities in the second part of the semester are based around small group activities. Students who choose the optional role play as their chosen assignment will be engaged in an interactive learning experience with medical students and have the opportunity to put theory into practice. 
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment item

    %of final mark

    Dates

    Length

    Redeemable

    Learning Objectives

    Quiz

    20%

     Available: 10th - 13th April 

    N/A

    N

    1-5

    Chosen
    Assignment

    25%

     

    N/A

    N

    1-5

    Class
    Participation 

    10%

     

     

    N

    1-5

    Research Paper

    45%

    Due 2pm,  
    Friday 9th June .

    4,000 words .

    N

    1-5

    Assessment Related Requirements
    There are no redeemable components of the assessment and all submissions will be completed electronically.
    Assessment Detail
    Chosen assignment 25%:

    There are three options from which you must choose one. Your selection must be made by the conclusion of Week 3, you can sign up on MyUni. Simply go to the Group area and then select your chosen activity; you are then able to enrol in one of the groups. Students
    who have not enrolled in a group by the end of Week 3 will be randomly allocated a task and this will not be open to negotiation.Details will be provided by the end of week 1 of the course


    Quiz 20%

    There will be an online quiz at the completion of the lectures, this will cover all substantive law covered during the lecture period. The quiz will be available 10th - 13th April. Failure to complete during this time will result in a zero grade, late submissions will not be accepted. 



    Research Paper 45% 
    You will be provided with a selection of questions from which you may choose one, you may also choose a topic of your own but this must be submitted for approval by the end of Week 9. 

    The paper is 4,000 words in length (not including footnotes), a bibliogaphy is expected (5% penalty will apply if there is no bibliography). Due, 2pm Friday 9th June. 
    Submission
    All assignments must be submitted electronically via Turnitin. This means that all papers will be electronically checked for plagiarism. All marking of papers will be completed electronically

    When an assessment is submitted after the due date, and without an extension, 5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend. For example, an essay that is submitted after the due date and time but within the first 24 hour period, and that has been graded at 63%, will have 5% deducted, for a final grade of 58%. An essay that is more than 24 hours late will lose 10%, etc. Hard copy submissions made after 5.00pm on a Friday will be assumed to have been submitted on the next business day and will be penalised 5% per day for every day including weekend days and public holidays.

    Word Length: Assignments which exceed the allocated length (word length or page limit) will be subject to a penalty of 5% of total marks possible per 100 words or part thereof (ie with a word limit of 3,000, an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is 3001 words long, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 3101 words long, etc). Words are calculated including all footnotes and headings within the text but excluding cover page information. Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Courses for which a result of conceded pass has been obtained may not be presented towards the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Laws or the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws programs, or any postgraduate law program, nor to satisfy prerequisite requirements within any law course.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Courses for which a result of conceded pass has been obtained may not be presented towards the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Laws or the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws programs, or any postgraduate law program, nor to satisfy prerequisite requirements within any law course.

    Approval of Results by Board of Examiners
    Students are reminded that all assessment results are subject to approval (and possible  moderation/change) by the Law School’s Board of Examiners. Assessment  results at the University are not scaled. Under the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, students are assessed ‘by reference to their performance against pre-determined criteria and standards … and not by ranking against the performance of the student cohort in the course’. However, under that same policy, the Board of Examiners (as the relevant Assessment Review Committee for courses at Adelaide Law School) is  required to ‘ensure comparability of standards and consistency’ in assessment. On occasions, the Board of Examiners will form the view that some moderation is required to ensure the comparability of standards and consistency across courses and years, and accordingly provide fairness to all law students. All assessment results are therefore subject to approval (and possible change) until confirmed by the Board of Examiners and posted on Acess Adelaide at the end of each semester.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    As a result of some student feedback there is now a combination of options for assessment with less of an emphasis on groupwork. In 2012 there was an electronic tutorial requirement but unfortunately the prgoramme that was used did not work and will not be used in 2013. For those who choose the online tutorial option they will be run through MyUni which is more stable and reliable.
  • Student Support

    The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    The centre offers practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at http://www.adelaide.edu.au/writingcentre/  

    Lex Salus Program

    Lex Salus was founded in 2013 by Adelaide Law School Wellbeing officers Ms Corinne Walding, Ms Kellie Toole and Dr Mark Giancaspro. Lex Salus is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at raising law student awareness of the importance of mental, physical and nutritional health across all year levels of the degree, and of the various counselling, disability and equity services both within and outside the University that can provide help. Research shows that law students, both in Australia and in many jurisdictions around the world, experience the highest levels of stress, anxiety and depression out of any other discipline. Many do not get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet or achieve a realistic work/life balance. Making matters worse, they are unwilling or afraid to speak up for fear of feeling 'weak' or because of the negative stigma that attaches to seeking help. Lex Salus is dedicated to tackling these problems head-on.

    Counselling Service

    The University Counselling Service provides a free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Counselling service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life. More information is available at https://www.adelaide.edu.au/counselling_centre/

  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Further information regarding the Law School Policies and Procedures in relation to Supplementary Assessment, Extensions, and Remarks etc can be found at:

    https://unified.adelaide.edu.au/group/law-school/policies-and-procedures

    Plagiarism and other forms of cheating

    Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the Adelaide Law School Enrolment Guide, and should note in particular the sections relating to plagiarism, grievance procedures and academic conduct within the Law School and the University.

    Plagiarism is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Please be aware that “academic dishonesty” (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to refuse to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.

    Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.

  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.