LW7146 - Medical Law in Context

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will develop a critical understanding of the substantive legal principles set out in the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA), the Mental Health Act 2007, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA), and the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) and common law and related guidance with specific reference to care and treatment for mental disorder and those who lack capacity. You will also examine the importance of legal capacity/competency and its effect on end-of-life treatment. You will evaluate the impact of the law understanding the interaction of relevant legal principles and their practical application with reference to relevant case studies.

This module covers the following topics:

An overview of the overall structure and application of the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA), the Code of Practice to the MHA 1983, The Mental Health Act 2007 (MHA 2007) and subsequent legislation and current Government proposals for reform.

Emergency provisions of the MHA 1983.

Treatment under Part IV MHA 1983 and under Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA).

An overview of the key provisions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA 2005) and the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 (MCA 2019) and how they fit into the overall framework for care and treatment of those who lack capacity/ are mentally disordered.

An examination of how provision can be made for a future onset of incapacity through Advance Decisions and Lasting Powers of Attorney.

An overview of the law and ethics in relation to end of life treatment and organ donation.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be supported by a teaching and learning plan (TLP) which outlines the activities (independent study/reading, self-evaluative tasks, formative assessments) throughout the module.

Directed learning will centre on detailed learning materials which will be made available via Blackboard Ultra, the module dedicated e-Learning (eLP) site and will include guided reading using electronic reading lists, self-evaluative tasks as well as opportunities to engage with your tutor and fellow students. The learning materials will be used to introduce you to the major principles of each topic in addition to placing the principles in context in relevant factual scenarios. The self-evaluative tasks will be used to develop and test your knowledge, factual analysis and problem-solving skills

Knowledge will be consolidated through a range of learning activities that will include extended reading, research and reflection. You will have a Study Day which will focus on clinical negligence law and aspects of criminal law The study day will include lectures from tutors together with interactive workshop-based activities in which you will need to consider the law surrounding medical practice in a practical context. The workshops will utilise an experiential teaching and learning strategy through using practical scenarios to expand on the material covered in the online learning materials. Study Day content will also be made available as live, on-line sessions. The workshops will be interactive sessions

Independent learning will centre on you identifying further reading and research to provide deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of the law and ethics in relation to mental health, mental capacity and end of life and will build on the areas covered in online materials and at the study day.

You will be provided with detailed feedback on your formative and summative assignment for this module and, as part of your reflective development, such feedback can be utilised in the preparation of subsequent module assessments on the programme. You are therefore able to demonstrate self-reflection and reflective practice within the module and on the programme as a whole, with feedback of appropriate quality and the positive application of formative feedback on learning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

This Module is designed by, and will be managed by, the Module Tutor who will be responsible for guiding you in your engagement and learning on the Module. Material will be provided to you through Blackboard Ultra. The Module has a dedicated eLP site which includes, a workbook, multiple choice questions, study day materials, recorded lectures powerpoint slides and links to resources, such as newly published articles. This is in addition to the electronic reading list. Extensive use is therefore made of the eLP at module level to facilitate discussions between you and your Module Tutor, to provide materials, make announcements and to highlight recent developments in the law. You may communicate with your Module Tutor by e-mail or telephone and are encouraged to make contact if you encounter any difficulties relating to any aspect of the module.

Academic support is also available through summative and formative feedback on assignments and a module teaching and learning plan (TLP) detailing delivery structure and any University requirements. At programme level you will be supported by the Programme Leader who will provide pastoral support throughout the module and the programme as a whole.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

Developed knowledge and a critical understanding of the laws and professional guidance that govern mental health and capacity in England and Wales.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

Develop an ability to conduct rigorous and independent legal research in relation to mental health, mental capacity and end of life treatment, selecting, using and applying the relevant material to identify issues, construct rational arguments and present accurate legal information clearly, coherently and substantiated by authority.

Develop an ability to reflect on and critically evaluate the operation of mental health law and identified solutions to a range of legal, practical and ethical problems associated with medical treatment decision-making.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

Gain a critical awareness of the legal and ethical issues surrounding mental capacity of end of life treatment and reflected on how those legal and ethical values align with your own personal and professional values.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment?will be achieved by self-test questions in module materials, group discussion and non-assessed exercises. Answers to self-test questions will be provided on the module elp and your tutor will give oral and written feedback to you as required. (MLO 1 &2)

Summative Assessment will be undertaken on an individual basis by way of assignment, which constitutes 100% of the marks for this module. The assignment will aim to encourage a deep and critical approach to learning, developing an ability to think widely about the issues relating to medical law presented within the module and to explore these in-line with directed and independent learning. (MLO 1,2, 3, 4)

The module will be assessed by coursework with a maximum word limit of 3,000 words. The specific nature of the assignment may vary and may include essay and case studies. Designed to facilitate examination of iatrogenic harm.? Where appropriate, assessment criteria will be provided to enable you to understand what is expected of you and how you will be judged on your performance. Submission is electronic via Turnitin.
You will be provided with appropriate electronic written feedback through Turnitin on your assessment in accordance with the Law School’s feedback policy. Such feedback can be utilised in the preparation of subsequent module assessments on the programme.


LW7146 Consent and Confidentiality 



Module abstract

This module examines the application of the law in context using relevant case studies. The module examines the law and guidance which govern the care and treatment of those experiencing mental disorder. In particular, and of special interest to those engaged in hospital medicine, the provision of treatment for those refusing care as a result of incapacity or mental illness.

The legal framework for end-of-life treatment for patients, with and without capacity, is examined with reference to the Mental Capacity Act 2005, Human Rights Act 1998 and the common law. This will include an examination of the law surrounding organ donation.

You will critically engage with research outputs as part of your research-rich learning, drawing from Northumbria's extensive on-line databases and library facilities. You will be assessed by researched assignment (100%) which will consolidate your understanding of the module and develop your skills of critical analysis.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Part-Time Distance Learning

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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