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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Healthcare Law and Society
Module Code LG347X
School School of Law & Government
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Brenda Daly
Semester 2: Brenda Daly
Autumn: Brenda Daly
Module TeachersBrenda Daly
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module will introduce students to the fundamental concepts of healthcare law and will address contemporary issues arising within healthcare law. The module aims to provide students with a knowledge and critical appreciation of, the current trends and characteristics of the subject area in this complex and evolving area of law.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify and explain the rules and principles of Irish, European and international law as applicable in a healthcare context.
2. Analyse the social, political and economic context within which health law is developing.
3. Explain the autonomy and legal rights of the individual patient in relation to healthcare.
4. Evaluate the impact of the law in relation to new technologies and treatments in healthcare.
5. Critically analyse problem scenarios with reference to case law, legislation and academic literature.
6. Engage in group discussions about legal problems.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Independent Study101No Description
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Right to health
Right to health – health as a fundamental and human right – Art 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN 1948; EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (Nice, 2000); European Convention for the protection of Human rights and fundamental freedoms; Social Charter; EU Treaty; national states; international obligations. Right to health recognised in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

Patients' Rights
Patients’ rights – autonomy, consent, access to information, confidentiality, privacy, access to healthcare services (“health tourism”), access to medicine.

Constitutional and Human Rights in medical intervention.
Constitutional and Human Rights in medical intervention.

Medical intervention at the beginning and ending of life:
Contraception; Assisted Human Reproduction; Abortion and Abortion information; Genetic screening; Withdrawal of treatment; Euthanasia; Removal and retention of body organs.

Cultural and societal influences on healthcare law.
Public health law. Impact of globalisation on the development of a body of rules and standards dealing specifically with health promotion.

Institutions responsible for global health law
WHO/UN/EU/national governments.

Infectious disease control
Global responses to pandemics and epidemics.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
EssayIndividual written essay.100%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Hervey, T. & McHale, J.: 2004, Health Law and the European Union., Cambridge University Press., Cambridge,
  • Toebes, B: 1999, The Right to Health as a Human Right in International Law, Intersentia/Hart, Antwerp,
  • Wicks, E.: 2007, Human Rights in Healthcare, Hart Publishing, Oxford,
  • Healy, J.: 2009, Medical Malpractice Law, Round Hall, Dublin,
  • Madden, D.: 2003, Medicine, Ethics and the Law, Butterworths, Dublin,
  • Mason, J., McCall Smith, R. and Laurie, G.: 2002, Law and Medical Ethics, 6th, Butterworths, Dublin,
  • Tomkin, D. & Hanafin, P.: 1995, Irish Medical Law, Round Hall Press, Dublin,
  • Fidler, D.P.: 2000, International Law and Public Health: Materials and Analysis of Global Health Jurisprudence., Transnational, London:,
  • Harrington, J. (ed): 0, Special Issue on Global Health Law [2004] Law, Social Justice and Global Development. Vol.1,
  • Kennedy, I. & Grubb, A.: 2000, Medical Law, 3rd, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Montgomery, J.: 2003, Health Care Law, 2nd, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Mossialos, E. & McKee, M.: 2002, ) EU Law and the Social Character of Health Care, PIE Peter Lang., Brussels,
  • O’ Mathuna, D., Scott, A., McAuley, A., Walsh-Daneshmandi, A. and Daly, B.: 2005, Health Care Rights and Responsibilities: A Review of the European Charter of Patients’ Rights, Irish Patients’ Association & Dublin City University School of Nursing., Dublin,
  • Randall, E.: 2001, The European Union and Health Policy, Palgrave, Basingstoke,
  • Van der Mei, A.P.: 2003, Free Movement of Persons within the European Community: Cross Border Access to Public Benefits., Hart, Oxford,
  • Lewis, C.: 2001, Clinical Negligence: A Practical Guide, Butterworths, Dublin,
  • Higgins, E. & Tatham, L.: 2006, Successful Legal Writing, 1st, Thomson - Sweet & Maxwell, London,
  • Knowles, J. & Thomas, P.: 2006, Effective Legal Research, Thomson - Sweet & Maxwell, London,
  • Bradney, A., Cownie, F., Masson, J., Neal, A. & Newell, D.: 2005, How to Study Law, 5th, Thomson - Sweet & Maxwell, London,
Other Resources

23321, Journal, 0, British Medical Journal, 23322, Journal, 0, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 23323, Journal, 0, Eurohealth, 23324, Journal, 0, European Journal of Health Law, 23325, Journal, 0, European Journal of Public Health, 23326, Journal, 0, Journal of European Public Policy, 23327, Journal, 0, Journal of Health and Human Rights, 23328, Journal, 0, Medical Law Review, 23329, Website, 0, www.who.int, 23330, Website, 0, www.bmj.com, 23331, Website, 0, Firstlaw, 23332, Website, 0, Westlaw, 23333, Website, 0, Justis,
Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)

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