Death and Dying - LW862

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
View Timetable
7 20 (10) DR P White







This module investigates the dying process and how this impacts on definitions of death. The relationship of medical law and ethics to the criminal law in relation to physician-assisted death will be explored and evaluated as it is manifested in various jurisdictions. The appropriate role for autonomy, rights and ethical considerations where making decisions over death is concerned will be related to existing mechanisms such as advanced directives.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 18
Private study hours: 182
Total study hours: 200


Autumn Term

Method of assessment

Essay - no more than 5000 words (100%)

Indicative reading

Jonathan Herring, Medical Law and Ethics, (OUP, 6th ed., 2016)
Emily Jackson, Medical Law: Text and Materials, (OUP, 3rd ed., 2013) or later edition if available
Graeme Laurie, Shawn Harmon, and Gerard Porter (eds.), Mason and McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics, (OUP, 10th ed., 2016)
Jonathan Montgomery, Health Care Law, (OUP, 2nd ed., 2002)
Marc Stauch and Kay Wheat, Text, Cases and Materials on Medical Law and Ethics, (Sweet and Maxwell, 5th ed., 2015)
Richard Tutton and Oonagh Corrigan (eds), Genetic Databases; Socio-Ethical Issues in the Collection and Use of DNA, (Routledge, 2004)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

1. Demonstrate an enhanced understanding of ethical, spiritual and medical frameworks underpinning understandings of death and the dying process.
2. Critically evaluate the relationship between end-of-life decision-making and ethical concerns such as autonomy, dignity and beneficence.
3. Demonstrate an advanced and detailed insight into the perspectives on withdrawal of treatment, futility and various aspects of euthanasia.
4. Construct an advanced conceptual understanding of how different jurisdictions provide ethical and legal regulation of end-of-life decision-making, and the impact this has on those concerned.
5. Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the institutions and structures associated with medicine, ethics and the law and the interrelationships between them.
6. Critically assess and evaluate current and developing issues in medical law and ethics and how these relate to, and interact with, end of life processes and the law.


Stage 1

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