MEDICAL LAW I - 2017/8

Module code: LAW3089

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

LILLYWHITE CL Mrs (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 6

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 122

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 6

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination 2 HOUR EXAM 100

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

The purpose of Medical Law I is to consider the ethical issues and the legal consequences of decisions taken by the medical profession.  The first part of the course deals with ethical dilemmas in medical law.  The second part looks at the legal and ethical issues that relate to life, death and medical treatment.  All of these topics will be considered with the Human Rights Act 1998 in mind so as to consolidate existing student learning.

Module aims

To provide students with an understanding of the way in which medical law operates in the UK, and how it compares to other jurisdictions where appropriate

To critically assess the ethical dilemmas in medical law in relation to all the substantive areas of law and practice studied

To be aware of the professional guidance in relation to all the substantive areas of study and how this relates to the legal and ethical issues

To identify and critically assess the law regulating abortion and assisted reproduction

To understand the nature of wrongful life and its consequences in medical law

To critically assess the ambit and nature of consent to treatment in medical law

To critically evaluate the definition of death used in medical law

To consider the ethical and legal dilemmas in end of life decision making

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Critically evaluate the central principles, concepts and history of the areas of Medical law, ethics and the principles of professional practice studied in this Module, and the relationship between them, with particular emphasis of the tensions which emerge KCT
Critically analyse and evaluate the content of the legal areas as studied in this Module and the ethical dilemmas posed in relation to them with a particular ability to analyse the content of the law in areas where there is tension or a lack of clarity in light of the ethical and professional debate (C, K, T) KCT
Critically engage with and evaluate the sources of Medical law, including common law, statute, the law of the EU and ECHR, and international law and the relationship between them KCT
Critically engage with the scholarly debate on the ethics which underpin the areas of Medical law studied in this Module KCT
Critically engage in discussions regarding competing policy concerns and the ethical and professional values which inform and develop the areas of Medical law studied in this Module, and  the relationship between them, in order to be able to propose and defend solutions KCPT
Critical engage in scholarly debate regarding medical law and ethics (in relation to the areas studied in this Module), critically analysing the major tendencies within legal scholarship and the relationship between them KCPT
Critically engage with and apply knowledge of the primary and secondary legal authorities, ethical models and professional guidance to solve complex problems and answer complex essay questions which seek to resolve tensions in the competing goals and content of Medical law in the areas studied in this Module CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Moral Deliberations and the dilemmas of medical practice (ethics)
Professional practice
A right to medical care and treatment and the allocation of scarce resources
Consent I: Competence and incompetence
Consent II: Informed decisions and the refusal of treatment
The beginnings of life: Scientific advances and medical technology
The beginnings of life: Abortion and the treatment of neonates
Death and Dying I: Diagnosis of death
Death and Dying II: Easing the passing

Methods of Teaching / Learning

 The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


Introduce topics, with particular emphasis on key areas of the syllabus, in lectures - using appropriate visual aids together with other with supporting materials (e.g. news clips)
Facilitate a more detailed study of the syllabus through independent study and by preparation of focussed tutorial questions
Enhance student’s understanding and critical awareness by group discussion in tutorial
Facilitate student’s revision of key areas of law and exam preparation by the submission of written formative coursework (see below) and by interactive revision lectures towards to the end of Semester 1

The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures (2 hrs x 11 weeks)

Tutorials (1 hr x 6 weeks)

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate, in accordance with the learning outcomes, their acquired knowledge, critical awareness of the key principles and policies studied in this Module, their ability to evaluate and also to apply their acquired knowledge and critical awareness to the resolution of hypothetical legal problems.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

2 hour written examination during the exam period for Semester 1 which will require the students to answer two questions comprising one essay and one problem.

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will receive verbal feedback on their performance during tutorials.  In addition they will undertake a written formative assessment, during Semester 1, on which they will receive individual written feedback and group verbal feedback. This written formative assessment will be designed to give the students practice in writing an answer to either an essay or problem question which is similar in style to what they can expect in their summative assessment.

Reading list

Reading list for MEDICAL LAW I :

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law with Criminology LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with International Relations LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (JD Pathway) LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.