LAW 7161 - Bioethics and the Law

North Terrace Campus - Trimester 2 - 2019

This course focusses on the medico-legal landscape with a particular emphasis on bioethics and the law. It introduces the complexities of the nexus between bioethics and the law, through consideration of basic concepts of bioethics and the construction of ethical arguments in a practical healthcare setting. The course builds upon the basic introductory themes of Law 7151 and explores how these bioethical issues are reflected in the law and addresses the question as to whether or not they are appropriate considerations in the development of the law. The course will, therefore, serve as a critical evaluation of both law and bioethics. Topics covered will include the understanding of the nature of ethical argumentation, defining bioethics, considering the interplay between bioethics and the law and a critical analysis of the ethics of bioethics. Practical examples will include the law in relation to professional relationships, issues at the borders of life (start and end of life decisions) and the process of decision-making in healthcare.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 7161
    Course Bioethics and the Law
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Trimester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Course Description This course focusses on the medico-legal landscape with a particular emphasis on bioethics and the law. It introduces the complexities of the nexus between bioethics and the law, through consideration of basic concepts of bioethics and the construction of ethical arguments in a practical healthcare setting. The course builds upon the basic introductory themes of Law 7151 and explores how these bioethical issues are reflected in the law and addresses the question as to whether or not they are appropriate considerations in the development of the law. The course will, therefore, serve as a critical evaluation of both law and bioethics. Topics covered will include the understanding of the nature of ethical argumentation, defining bioethics, considering the interplay between bioethics and the law and a critical analysis of the ethics of bioethics. Practical examples will include the law in relation to professional relationships, issues at the borders of life (start and end of life decisions) and the process of decision-making in healthcare.
    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
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1.Identify and explain foundational principles of bioethics
    2.Critically analyse the  ethical underpinnings of the law as it relates to medicine,
    3. Apply the principles of law and ethics to the provision of healthcare, 
    4. Critically appraise the law as it applies to the provision of healthcare,
    5. Analyse the role of policy in the formation of law as it relates to medicine, and
    6. Present arguments, both orally and in writing about the relationship between ethics, the law and professionalism in the healthcare environment.
    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)
    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
    1-5
    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
    1-6
    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
    1-5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    All material will be made available via MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    Please refer to MyUni and provided course materials. 
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be conducted intensively over a series of weeks, the dates are:
    19th June (5pm-8pm)
    26th June (5pm-8pm)
    19th July  (9am-4pm)
    27th July (9am-4pm)

    There will be a mix of lecture and seminar/practical activities with a focus on the intersection of the law, ethics and the provision of healthcare.
    Workload

    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary
    The topics covered in this course include (but are not limited to):
    Principles of Bioethics
    Professionalism
    Trespass
    Bioethics and the law
    Legal interpretation
    Research ethics and regulation
    Regulation of innovation
    Medical devices
    Research ethics
    End of Life Care
  • 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 Task Task Type Due Weighting Length Redeemable Learning Outcome
    Case Study Individual 12th August 70% 3,000 N 2-5
    Ethical Judgment Group Practical element during the course, written report 26th July 20% 1,000 N 1,2,6
    Participation Individual Duration of course 10% N/A N 1-6
    Assessment Detail
    The case study will be a presentation of a relevant legal/ethical dilemma experienced by the student in their workplace as either a legal practitioner or healthcare professional. The specific topic and format will be negotiated individually with all students undertaking the Professional Certificate. 

    The ethical judgments presentation will involve the consideration of a decided case, and application of ethical as opposed to legal principles to that fact scenario. This will result in a critique of existing legal principles.
    Submission
    All written submissions will be made electronically via MyUni.
    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.

    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.

    Finality of Assessment Grades

    Students are advised that Course Coordinators will not enter into negotiations of any kind with any student regarding changes to their grades. It is irrelevant, in any given circumstance, that only a minimal number of additional marks are required to inflate a student’s grade for any individual assessment item or course as a whole. Pursuant to the University’s Assessment for Coursework
    Programs Policyand the Adelaide Law School Assessment Policies and Procedures, grades may only be varied through the  appropriate channels for academic review (such as an official re-mark).

     
    Moderation

    In accordance with the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, course coordinators ‘ensure that appropriate marking guidelines and cross-marking moderation processes across markers are in place’ in each course. Procedures adopted by Adelaide Law School to ensure consistency of marking in courses with multiple markers include:

     
    *assurance of the qualifications of markers, and their knowledge of the content covered in each course;
    *detailed marking guidelines and assessment rubrics to assist in the marking of items of assessment;
    *sharing of example marked assessments at various grade bands across markers;
    *reviewing of selected marked assessments from each marker by the course coordinator;
    *comparison of the marks and their distribution across markers;
    *automatic double-marking of all interim assessment receiving a fail grade, and of final assessments where a student’s overall result is a fail grade;
    *the availability of re-marking of assessments in accordance with Adelaide Law School’s Assessment Policies and Procedures.


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

  • 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.

  • 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.

    Lex Salus Program
    Lex Salus (law and wellbeing) is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at destigmatising mental health issues; promoting physical, mental and emotional wellness; building a strong community of staff and students; and celebrating diversity within the school. It also seeks to promote wellness within the legal profession, through the involvement of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia, the Honourable Chris Kourakis, as the official Patron of the program.

    Students can participate in the Lex Salus program by attending barbecue lunches, pancake breakfasts, knitting and crochet circles, seminars, guest speakers, conferences and other activities. Our Facebook page, website and regular all-student emails promote upcoming events, and have tips and information on wellness.

    Our Lex Salus YouTube channel also includes videos on topics like managing stress, and interviews with LGBTQ lawyers and their supporters which celebrate diversity and individuality. Students who commit to 10 hours of volunteering with Lex Salus in one year can have their service recognised on their academic transcript and through a thank you morning tea with the Chief Justice and law school staff.

    Student Life Counselling Support
    The University’s Student Life Counselling Support service provides free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Student Life Counselling Support service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life.
  • Policies & Guidelines

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

    Academic Honesty
    Academic dishonesty is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the University’s Academic Honesty Policy.

    Academic dishonesty is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Academic dishonesty (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia 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.