Law and Medical Ethics - LAWS6020

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module considers the legal regulation of medical practice in its ethical, socio-economic and historical context, drawing on a range of critical, contextual and interdisciplinary perspectives. Students will be introduced to the major western traditions of ethical theory and the major principles of medical law. They will then pass on to their incorporation in medical negligence, confidentiality, consent and competence, and medical research. They will then draw upon these to engage in critical legal analysis of major areas of medical ethics and law.


Contact hours

Total Study Hours: 150
Total Contact Hours: 20
Private Study Hours: 130


Optional module available to stage 3 students on all single and joint honours undergraduate law courses.

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Coursework - essay (2000 words) - 50%
Examination (2 hours) - 50%*

* Students must achieve a mark of 40% in the exam in order to pass this module.

Reassessment methods
Reassessment instrument: 100% exam

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

The core text for this module will be the latest edition of E. Jackson, Medical Law: Text, Cases and Materials.

Other indicative readings:
Herring, J, Medical Law and Ethics, OUP, 2016
Morris, A and Jones, M. A, Blackstone's Statutes on Medical Law, OUP, 2015
Mason, J.K and McCall Smith, A, Law and Medical Ethics, OUP, 2016
Stauch, and Wheat, K, Text, Cases and Materials on Medical Law and Ethics, Routledge, 2015

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of concepts, principles and rules that apply within medical ethics and the law and are at the
forefront of the subject.
2. Critically analyse and evaluate contemporary issues in medical law and ethics.
3. Apply a conceptual understanding of medico-legal issues through the construction of detailed and coherent arguments.
4. Critically evaluate current research in the field of law and medical ethics.
5. Demonstrate an appreciation of the conflicts within medical law and ethics, such as areas of uncertainty, ambiguity and the limits of
current medical knowledge.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Effectively locate and use primary and secondary sources both paper and electronic.
2. Apply knowledge to analyse complex case studies and problems.
3. Critically evaluate arguments, assumptions and abstract concepts.
4. Identify a range of solutions to a medico-legal scenarios.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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