Module Details

HS501-7-FY-CO: Legal And Ethical Issues

Year: 2016/17
Department: Health and Human Sciences
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: No
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: No
Comments: Suitable for qualified healthcare practitioners currently working in healthcare settings, but may also be of value as an option for those students doing the Masters in Public Health.

Supervisor: Graham Avery
Teaching Staff: Graham Avery
Contact details: Mel Wiltshire, Graduate Administrator Tel: 01206 873375 email:

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

Society in general is becoming increasingly litigious. In the context of health care, law in general and health care law in particular has a profound influence on practice. Managers and clinicians are called to account for their actions, justifying resource decisions as well as clinical judgements. An understanding of the law and moral reasoning is thus an important knowledge base for health care staff. This course aims to provide an overview of the legal and ethical frameworks, which underpin and govern the practice of health care and research.

Module runs at Colchester campus, for 10 weeks each Wednesday of the Autumn term. Each session is 2 hours long.

Learning and Teaching Methods

There will be a series of two-hour seminars, where issues on the relationship between law, ethics and health care will be examined. Students will be encouraged to examine how law and ethics relate to their particular areas of work, and how an understanding of these issues may enhance practice.


100 per cent Coursework Mark

Other information

Minimum enrolment
Please note that if insufficient numbers of students (i.e. <10) opt to take this module we may have to cancel it at short notice. If this is the case we will of course notify anyone who has applied to take this course in a particular term as soon as possible and offer an opportunity to discuss alternative options.


  • Avery, G. (2013) Law and Ethics in Nursing and Healthcare. London. Sage Publications
  • Bartlett, P. and Sandland, R. (2007) Mental health law: policy and practice (3rd ed.). Oxford. Oxford University Press.
  • Beauchamp, T.L. and Childress, J. F. (2008) Principles of biomedical ethics. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
  • Brazier, M. and Cave, E. (2007) Medicine, patients and the law. London. Penguin.
  • Carr, C. (2012) Unlocking medical law and ethics. London. Hodder Education.
  • Dimond, B. (2011) Legal aspects of nursing (6th ed.). London. Prentice Hall.
  • Harris, J. (1985) The value of life. London. Routledge.
  • Herring, J. (2008) Medical law and ethics (2nd. ed.). Oxford. Oxford University Press.
  • Hope, T., Savulescu, J. and Hendrick, J. (2008) Medical ethics and law: the core curriculum (2nd. ed.). London. Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.
  • Kennedy, I. And Grubb, A. (2000) Medical law: text with materials. London. Butterworths.
  • Mason, J. and Laurie, G. (2011) Mason and McCall Smith's Law and medical ethics. London.
  • Melia, K. (2004) Health care ethics. London. Sage Publications.
  • Montgomery, J. (2003) Health care law. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
  • Pattinson, S. D. (2009) Medical law and ethics (2nd. ed.). London. Sweet and Maxwell.
  • Seedhouse, D. (2005) Values-based decision-making for the caring professions. London. John Wiley & Son.
  • LEXIS-NEXIS Professional (Legal materials)

Further information