LAW 2516 - Medical Law and Ethics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

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 2
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    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.

    Upon completion of this subject a student will have an understanding of:

    1. The ethical underpinnings of the law as it relates to medicine,
    2. The law of negligence in the context of the provision of healthcare,
    3. Legal and ethical issues surrounding end and beginning of life decisions,
    4. The maintenance of professional standards in the healthcare profession, and
    5. The role of policy in the formation of law as it relates to medicine.
    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)
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1-3
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1-5
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-5
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1-5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    1. Printed materials obtained from the Image and Copy Centre
    2. B.Richards and J.Louise, Medical Law and Ethics: A Problem-Based Approach (LexisNexis Butterworths, 2014)
    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 6 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

    TBA
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Students will be engaged in a compulsory group research and presentation activity.  Details TBC
  • 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

    Chosen assignment:



    15%

     

     

    N/A

    N

    1-5

    Group Activity

    20%

    Final submission Friday 10th Oct (there will be ongoing assessment & feedback throughout the semester)

    N/A

    N

    1-5

    Optional Research Paper

    40%

    Monday 29th Sep

    3,000 words

    N

    1-5

    Take home exam

    65% or 25%

    Distributed 9am, Friday 24th Oct.

    Due 2pm, Fri 31st Oct.

    4,500 words or 1,500 words.

    N

    1-5

    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students must complete the chosen assignment, group activity and take home exam. The length of the exam depends upon submission (or not) of the optional assignment. There are no redeemable elements to this assessment scheme.
    Assessment Detail
    Chosen assignment 15%:

    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



    Group Activity 20%

    You will be allocated to a small group and given a scenario. The groups will correspond with your seminar groups and the details of the task, which will involve active participation in a scenario, will be made available at the time of group allocation.

    Due: 2pm, 10th October


    Optional Research Paper 40%

    This is an optional assignment which, if completed, will reduce the weighting (and length) of the take-home exam. I will circulate proposed topics but students are free to select a topic of their own (which must be submitted to me for approval prior to Monday 19th March).

    Length: 3,000 words

    Due:
    2pm Monday 29th September

    Take Home Exam 65% or 25%

    You will be provided with a paper at 9am on 24th October (hardcopies will be available at the General Office and an electronic copy will be posted on MyUni).There will be at least 5 questions and you will be expected to complete 3 if you did not complete the optional assignment or 1 if you did . The questions will cover the topics of the course and will vary in style (there will be some opinion pieces, consideration and application of the law and research questions). You will be urged to remember that it is a law exam and that answers should display an understanding of the relevant law and where appropriate cite cases, statutes, scholarly articles and books.

    Your examination answers must be typed, double spaced with standard margins and 12 or 14 point font. Each answer must not exceed 1,500 words. A bibliography is required. Further details will be provided with the exam.

    Due: 2pm MFriday 31st October.
    Submission

    All assignments must be submitted in BOTH hardcopy and electronically via Turnitin. This means that all papers will be electronically checked for plagiarism. Failure to submit electronically will mean results will be withheld until electronic submission occurs.

    There are specific Law School requirements for the submission of hardcopy assignments. They are as follows:

    1. Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.
    2. All individual assignments must be attached to an Assignment Cover Sheet which must be signed and dated by the student before submission. Lecturers will withhold student’s results until such time as the student has signed the Assignment Cover Sheet.
    3. Markers can refuse to accept assignments which do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University’s policy on plagiarism (refer to policy on plagiarism above).
    4. 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.
    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.
  • 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.

    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/

  • 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 2014, 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.