HADM 330 Health Care Law and Ethics in Canada

This course explores law and ethics in the Canadian health care system, providing students with an understanding of how legal and ethical decision-making processes occur. Students will engage in discussion and activities around the legal, ethical, and moral obligations of health care providers, and how these obligations impact health care. Students will also be introduced to current legal and ethical cases in health care, in order to prepare them for the realities they will face in their careers.


Credits: 3


Hours: 45 (Lecture Hours: 3)


Total Weeks: 15


Successful completion of HADM 310: Organizational Structure of the Canadian Health Care System,
OR consent of Instructor


Non-Course Prerequisites:




Detailed Course Content, Topics and Sequence Covered:
- Moral theories that shape the consideration of morality and ethics
- Access to health care and the concept of a "right to care"
- Introduction to the legal grievance process in health care, including pleading, discovery, motions, and trial
- An overview of public health law policy, including duties, notification, powers, and penalties
- Distinction between public health and mental health laws in Canada
- Medical decision making: decision-makers for patients, informed consent, patients' best interests, individual vs. family, mentally competent/incompetent patients, minors, etc.
- Further discussion of legal concepts regarding the consent to treatment
- Medical negligence: duty of care, proof, nursing liability, etc.
- Management of medical information: privacy and confidentiality, truth-telling
- Genetics and technology: eugenics, cloning and stem cell usage, treatment and enhancement, genetic testing, issues in reproductive choice, moral status of the human fetus and infant
- Allocation of medical resources: the necessity of rationing resources, organ and tissue donation, provincial legislation, etc.
- End-of-life decision making: refusal or withdrawal of treatment, euthanasia and assisted suicide, patients' rights, advance directives


Learning Outcomes:
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Describe ethical and moral theories and how they affect the legalities and ethics of health care
- Explain health care accessibility and the concept of a "right to care" in a Canadian context
- Identify the legal grievance process for health care in Canada
- Explain the basic elements of public health law policy making in Canada
- Explain the distinction between public health and mental health laws in Canada
- Demonstrate sound knowledge of medical decision making processes: who is involved (ie. patient, health care team, family, courts, etc.), and how the law influences the decision making process
- Describe and apply legal concepts involving medical negligence
- Describe the processes of obtaining medical information and the laws in place to protect patients' rights
- Identify and present current legal and ethical cases within the Canadian health care system, including genetics and technology, allocation of resources, and end-of-life decision making
- Develop collaboration skills with peers


Grading System: Letters


Passing Grade: D (50%)


Percentage of Individual Work: 75


Percentage of Group Work: 25


Additional Course Comments:
- Late penalty of 5% per day for assignments will apply. Students are expected to attend all classes and purchase the textbook. Make-up exams will only be allowed under extenuating circumstances. The instructor will not re-teach material covered during class time.


Textbooks are subject to change.  Please contact the bookstore at your local campus for current book lists.