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NU7005 Ethics and Law in Health and Social Care (10 ECTS)

Learning Outcomes

Following completion of this module the student should be able to:

  • MLO-01: Describe the fundamental structure and operation of the legal system in Ireland and discuss the impact of these upon the provision of health and social care,
  • MLO-02: Critically debate how case law and legislation guides and impacts on practice within the health and social care system,
  • MLO-03: Critically debate the application of a range of ethical theories to a variety of moral dilemmas in practice,
  • MLO-04: Appraise the function and application of ethical decision-making frameworks in practice,
  • MLO-05: Critically analyse the legal and ethical obligations of health and social care professionals in practice,
  • MLO-06: Debate a variety of ethical and legal issues relating to their role and practice taking cognisance of the merits and demerits of varying perspectives.
  • MLO-07: Demonstrate the knowledge needed to facilitate decision-making that is ethically, legally and professionally justifiable

Module Learning Aims & Rationale

Recognising the increasing complexity of health and social care and the diverse nature of service users, settings and professional roles, it is essential that health and social care practice is underpinned by legal and ethical knowledge.  Such knowledge is central to understanding the legal, moral and ethical responsibilities inherent in respecting and promoting the well-being of individuals, families and/or carers. This module is based on the premise that professional practice and decision-making in health and social care is not only about physical, sociological or psychological well-being, but that decisions and related actions based on ethical, bioethical and legal standpoints are also fundamental to the delivery of high standards of professional care. 

Therefore, the aim of the module is to enable students to explore the legal and ethical knowledge, concepts and frameworks that impact on professional practice. The module also aims to facilitate students to develop the skills necessary to construct reasoned ethical and legal arguments to justify appropriate courses of action in the provision of health and social care.