Biomedical Ethics and Law

Credit value: 30
Semester: 1
Status: Compulsory
Contact hours: 70 hours
Module co-ordinator: Dr June Jones & Cathy Hale
Lead Teachers: Dr June Jones, Cathy Hale, Dr Jon Ives, Professor Heather Draper

Module Description:

This module will enable you to develop more advanced skills of philosophical argument and critical reasoning than during your MBChB learning to date.

It will also enable you, to integrate ethical and legal theory and principles within the context of real dilemmas and challenges in modern health care. Each day will be themed. The morning sessions will focus on a particular aspect of ethical and/or legal theory. The afternoon session will provide the opportunity to apply these concepts to actual situations you may encounter once you graduate in medicine. Aspects to be covered in the afternoon sessions include dilemmas from beginning of life, end of life, psychiatry and forensics, resource allocation, public health ethics etc. These topics have been chosen as ones which have been most interesting to previous students and most relevant to current health care practices. The content of this module will be changed slightly each year to reflect the latest issues in health care and to provide students with the opportunity to explore the relevant legal rulings and professional guidance.

The daily use of ethical and legal theory and principles will enable students to gain a sound underpinning for conceptual analysis of the dilemmas faced in modern health care. The use of a mock 'clinical ethics committee' will provide students with insight into the ways many Trusts deal with clinically orientated dilemmas.

This module will demonstrate the building of moral and legal arguments, showing where weaknesses and strengths lie in each. The content will reflect the need for students to develop argument skills and an ability to evaluate different and competing viewpoints.

Entry requirements

International students:

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.