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76045 Medicine and Law

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2019 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Law
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): 70311 Torts AND 70617c Administrative Law
The lower case 'c' after the subject code indicates that the subject is a corequisite. See definitions for details.
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses.
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 77734 Law and Medicine AND 78148 Law and Medicine

Description

This subjects deals with the aspects of law relevant to health care. There are many issues that can arise as health law is an ever evolving and diverse area. It is subject to both local and overseas influences and regulation is challenging. When studying health law, many areas must be considered, such as: human rights, ethical practice, the advancement of medical technology, social policy, governance and the many vested interests. The subject examines the issues that confront health-care professionals and their patients and peers, in particular in the context of continuing systemic and resource problems. This includes the handling of complaints against health-care practitioners, the regulation of the various health professions, the outcome of parliamentary inquiries and the history and findings of the various royal commissions. Other important areas such as medical negligence, consent to treatment, access to and ownership of medical records, privacy and confidentiality, euthanasia, wrongful birth, wrongful life and abortion, complementary and alternative medicine, organ donation, public health law issues such as tobacco, alcohol and obesity are examined and discussed.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. build and elaborate on basic legal concepts acquired in previous law core subjects and apply them in the area of health care law;
2. consider and research issues in relation to consent, access to medical records, negligence, privacy and confidentiality, abortion, wrongful birth, wrongful life, euthanasia, mental health, complementary and alternative medicine, organ donation, public health and the influence and challenge of medical technology innovations;
3. study the regulation of health care; develop a critical awareness of the issues that health professionals are faced with and how the law impinges on the decision-making process in day to day practice; analyse recent developments in medical negligence case law;
4. critically assess the systemic issues that impact on health professionals;
5. examine the professional competence of doctors and health professionals.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes which reflect the course intended learning outcomes:

  • Critical Analysis and Evaluation
    A capacity to think critically, strategically and creatively, including an ability to identify and articulate legal issues, apply reasoning and research, engage in critical analysis and make reasoned choices (LAW.3.0)
  • Research skills
    Well-developed cognitive and practical skills necessary to identify, research, evaluate and synthesise relevant factual, legal and policy issues (LAW.4.0)
  • Communication and Collaboration
    Effective and appropriate communication skills, including highly effective use of the English language, an ability to inform, analyse, report and persuade using an appropriate medium and message and an ability to respond appropriately (LAW.5.0)

Teaching and learning strategies

Strategy 1 Face to face teaching in a small group environment.
Strategy 2 The lecturer will facilitate learning through a combination of class discussion, lecture, UTS Online and video.
Strategy 3 Students will contribute to online discussion on issues that arise from the topics. Students will give presentations to the class on various topics.
Strategy 4 Students will be encouraged to participate in class discussion.

Subject Delivery
This subject is taught in one 3 hour class per week throughout the semester. The main class activities are designed to engage students to be engaged and to inter-act using high-order evaluative, collaborative and communication skills. There will be a range of active class exercises undertaken by students including short presentations, general class discussion, writing exercises, low-stakes informal peer assessment, small group collaboration and discussion, problem solving and debates. Mini-lectures will be given by the teacher mainly to explain, support, elaborate on, and respond to, the interactive class activities undertaken by students.

Lecture Format
Small group teaching format where students will have the opportunity to participate in class discussion.

Lecture Recording
Audio or visual recording of classes for this subject is strictly prohibited unless written approval is sought and given in advance by the Subject Coordinator. Approval for audio or visual recording will usually be limited to medical or hardship reasons, and if approved, must be arranged by the student.

Students may only use the audio or visual recording for private study purposes and (to avoid any legal action) permission must be obtained from the Subject Coordinator for any other usage. Given the inter-active nature of classes, any student who does not wish to be audio-taped must advise the Subject Coordinator in advance otherwise permission from students is assumed.

Audio-tapes from AVS
Arrangements may be in place for lectures to be recorded, and tapes made available for purchase from the UTS Audio Visual Services in CM05D.01.01 (at the entrance past the “Art of Food” café) on the Haymarket Campus, Quay Street. Check with your Subject Coordinator if and which arrangement is in place for this subject.

Please also note that no responsibility is taken for the quality or reliability of this taping service and that no Special Consideration applications will be considered in relation to problems experienced by students using this taping service. Students may only use these audio-tapes for private student purposes (and to avoid legal action) permission must be obtained from the Subject Coordinator for any other usage.

Recorded Lectures on UTSOnline
Arrangements may be in place for lecture recordings to be made available for download from UTSOnline. Check with your Subject Coordinator if and which arrangement is in place for your subject.

Please also note that no responsibility is taken for the quality or reliability of this taping service and that no Special Consideration applications will be considered in relation to problems experienced by students using this taping service. Students may only use these audio-tapes for private student purposes (and to avoid legal action) permission must be obtained from the Subject Coordinator for any other usage.

Content (topics)

  1. Introduction to Health Law- What are the major legal and ethical issues?
  2. The legal duties of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals/ disciplinary matters/ Inquiries/Royal Commissions
  3. Consent to medical procedures-adults, children and the mentally incompetent
  4. Doctor’s duty to provide information-Open disclosure/negligence issues and defences
  5. Injuries caused by Medical Treatment -negligence
  6. Access to medical records- ownership issues/FOI
  7. Privacy and Confidentiality
  8. Withdrawal of treatment and Euthanasia
  9. Abortion and wrongful birth /wrongful life
  10. Public Health Law issues- obesity, tobacco, alcohol, cancer
  11. Medical Technology and Devices
  12. Complementary and alternative medicine
  13. Organ donation/Definition of death/Inquiries

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Class Participation

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

LAW.3.0 and LAW.5.0

Weight: 10%

Assessment task 2: Oral presentation

Intent:

To test students understanding of the relevant subject matter -To develop and evaluate skills of critical analysis -To develop and improve verbal communication and presentation skills

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

2, 3, 4 and 5

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

LAW.3.0, LAW.4.0 and LAW.5.0

Weight: 15%
Length:

Maximum of 10 minutes for presentation. Questions and discussion are permitted and encouraged after presentations.

Assessment task 3: Written component

Intent: To test understanding of a topic area -To develop and evaluate skills of critical analysis -To develop and improve written communication skills
Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

2, 3, 4 and 5

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

LAW.3.0, LAW.4.0 and LAW.5.0

Weight: 25%
Length:

2500 words plus or minus 10% excluding footnotes. A one page bibliography is required (Not counted in the word count).

Criteria:

Marking criteria will be placed on UTS Online with the questions

Assessment task 4: Final Examination

Intent: To test knowledge and understanding of material studied in subject
Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 3 and 4

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

LAW.3.0, LAW.4.0 and LAW.5.0

Weight: 50%

Required texts

This semester we will be using

Health Law in Australia 3rd ed White, McDonald & Willmott, Lawbook Co., (2018)
ISBN: 9780455238753

or

Health Law: Frameworks and Context, Farrell, Devereux, Karpin and Weller, Cambridge University Press (2017)

ISBN: 9781107455474

Students may refer to either of these texts - I will refer to the chapters from both texts in the readings. You may also refer to the texts listed below in recommended texts.

Recommended texts

Allan S and Blake M, Australian Health Law, LexisNexis, 2018. Bennett B (ed), Health, Rights and Globalisation, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2006. Bennett B, Carney T and Karpin K (eds) Brave New World of Health, The Federation Press, 2008. Devereux John, Australian Medical Law (3rd edition) Routledge -Cavendish Publishing, 2006. Freckelton I, Petersen K (eds), Disputes and Dilemmas in Health Law, The Federation Press, 2006. Freckelton I (ed), Regulating Health Practitioners, The Federation Press, 2006. Freeman M, Children, medicine and the law, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2005. Freeman M, Law and Neuroscience, Current Legal Issues Vol 13, Oxford 2011. Freeman M, Goodenough O, Law, Mind and Brain, Ashgate 2009. Forrester K and Griffiths D, Essentials of law for Health professionals, Elsevier 2005. Garland B, Neuroscience and the Law, Dana Press 2004. Herring J, Medical Law and ethics, Oxford University Press, 2006. Kennedy R, Allied Health Professionals and the Law, The Federation Press, 2008. Kerridge I, Lowe M and Stewart C, Ethics and Law for the Health Professions, 4th edition, The Federation Press, 2013. McLean S (ed), First do no harm, law, ethics and healthcare, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2006. McIlwraith J and Madden B, Health Care and the Law, 6th edn. Lawbook 2014. Reynolds C, Public and Environmental Health Law, The Federation Press, 2011. Skene L, Law and Medical Practice: Rights, Duties, Claims and Defences, 3rd edition, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2008. Spranger T, International Neurolaw, A Comparative analysis, Springer 2012.

Other resources

Other Materials: Reports, Journals and General References

  • Journal of Law and Medicine –Lawbook online
  • Halsburys Laws of Australia-Medicine
  • Journal of Traditional-Medicine Society
  • British Medical Journal- BMJ online
  • Journal of Medical Ethics Legal Medicine
  • Torts Law Journal
  • Medical Journal of Australia- http://www.mja.com.au/
  • Australian Health and Medical Law Reporter

Useful Websites