LL5050 - Medical Law (2020/21)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2020/21|
|Module title||Medical Law|
|Module level||Intermediate (05)|
|Credit rating for module||15|
|School||Guildhall School of Business and Law|
|Total study hours||150|
|Running in 2020/21||
“Medical paternalism no longer rules.” per Lord Steyn in Chester v. Afshar  1 AC 134
In the current millennium, the public have become increasingly aware of their rights in respect of medical treatment, including the right to be informed of the potential consequences of any treatment, and the right to question the competence and expertise of medical professionals.
In this module, students will critically examine the principles of tort, criminal law and human rights law which balance the relationship between patients and healthcare workers, studying such matters as consent, patient confidentiality, mental capacity, the right to live and the right to die.
The module aims to develop several key transferable skills including independent research, critical analysis and academic writing in the context of medical law, emphasising the use of primary and secondary sources of law.
This is a dynamic, contemporary subject, which forms the basis of several successful legal practices, and so may have a tangible career benefit for students interested in this sector of law.
1. Introduction to Medical Law
2. Medical Torts
Trespass to the person
3. Medical Litigation
The complaints mechanism
4. Medical Ethics
5. Medical Malpractice and Criminal Law
LO 1 and 2
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
Learning & Teaching Strategy
Weekly two-hour lecture and one-hour seminar.
The lecture will be used for:
Dissemination of knowledge through an overview of each topic with detailed guidance on appropriate aspects;
An introduction to relevant academic literature;
Guidance on learning strategies;
Use of blackboard and IT resources;
Whole group questions and discussion.
The seminar will be used for:
Development of skills necessary to attain the module learning outcomes through:
Written and oral questions/answers designed to reinforce fundamental rules/principles/cases;
A range of step by step writing exercises;
IT tasks such as research of cases and statutes
All learning materials, previous examination questions and sample Q/A’s will be on blackboard for use in directed private study.
Student engagement will be encouraged in both lectures and seminars through weekly use of Weblearn for access to all of the above materials.
There will be required use of the professional legal databases, especially Westlaw and Lexis Library, for legal research
Opportunities for reflective learning/pdp
Each weekly seminar will contain space for students to reflect on what they have learnt in relation to the overall syllabus. There will be frequent feedback opportunities structured into the timetable and a range of sample answers posted onto Weblearn.
Employability strategy will aim to acquaint students with a range of employment
avenues both in the legal profession and in those professions into which legal
qualifications and skills are transferable.
The study of medical law is especially important for students who wish to go on to
practice in personal injury litigation.
Student’s Study Responsibilities
The need for attendance, punctuality, preparation and engagement will be emphasised with particular reference to written and IT research, problem-solving, team-work, discussion, debate and critical awareness of the subject.
On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills in the context of the legal principles applied to medical law.
2. Work both independently and collectively to locate, examine and interpret primary and secondary sources of medical law, and to present a critical analysis in the form of a properly drafted and referenced written essay or report.
Written Coursework (2,000 – 2,500 words in total)
A research-based essay, requiring a critical analysis of a contemporary issue in medical law.
This will assess students in the skills of critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills in the context of the legal principles applied to medical law. They will be required to work both independently and collectively to locate, examine and interpret primary and secondary sources of medical law, and to present a critical analysis in the form of a properly drafted and referenced written essay or report.
Pattinson, S, Medical Law and Ethics (Sweet and Maxwell)
Staunch, M, K Wheat & J Tingle, Cases and Materials on Medical Law (Routledge)
Law Quarterly Review
Journal of Medical Ethics