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Spring 2022
5315 Foundational Issues in Health Law: Patient, Provider, Society and the Law. - EWER- 17993

Professor(s): Michael Ewer (OTHER FACULTY)

Credits: 3

Course Areas: Health Law 

Time: 4:00p-5:30p  TTH  Location: 213  BLB

Course Outline: This three-credit course introduces students to basic legal and theoretical concepts related to the study of health law. Major topics include bioethical theories and their relevance to the law, medical malpractice, and the role of the courts in defining and applying standards of care. We will cover an array of interesting and challenging issues over the course of the semester, including the meaning of health, the nature of the physician-patient relationship, including privacy, access to care, and informed consent, public health, reproductive and genetic technologies, and end-of-life care. This class has a heavy discussion component and students are expected to come to class prepared to engage in an in-depth conversation about the assigned material. To that end, students enrolled in this course will become well-versed in the theory underlying the law and policy we study, as well as the black letter law.

Course Syllabus:

Course Notes: (Face-to-Face)  The UH registration system instruction mode for this course is listed in parenthesis. After student registration in November, there may be instruction mode changes to this course up through Jan. 5th, 2022, but notice of such changes will be sent to then-registered students. Instructors and students are expected to normally be physically present in the classroom. If the course has a final examination, it will be in a classroom requiring your physical presence. Other assessment, such as a mid-term exam, may also be in a classroom. Whether this instructor will offer “remote presence” (starting a zoom meeting from the podium computer to enable student remote access on an occasional basis) for part or all of the semester is not known, but students should not rely on an expectation that remote presence will be available.


For the Foundational Issues in Health Law: Patient, Provider, Society and the Law class, we will follow the topics in the order they appear in the assigned textbook. A more detailed syllabus will be distributed during the first week of class.

During the first week of class we will go through Chapter 1 in detail. All participants should review the cases in Chapter 1 from the perspective of why they are important as well as to see how the law and medicine interact in a complex environment of science (medicine), law, government, ethics, administration, and economics. The course will touch on all of these disciplines to a greater or lesser extent, but will focus on the ever-increasing interaction of law and medicine.Additional handouts may be provided.

The goal of this course is to expose students to those issues that continue to raise concerns including (but not limited to):

Access to Care
The Doctor / Patient Relationship
Consent for treatment and The Informed Consent Process
The Rights of Patients to Limit the Extent of Treatment or to Request Treatment Beyond Recognized Therapeutic Guidelines
Standards of Care, and Failure of a Practitioner or an Institution to Meet Standards of Care
Rights of Patients and Research Facilities to Biologic Material and an overview of Human Subjects Research
Reproductive Rights and Responsibilities
Ethical Concerns in Health Care and End-of-Life Decisions
Evaluation and Credentialing of Healthcare Professionals

At any time current events topics may be introduced as well.

Registered students will be expected to come to class prepared sufficiently to be called upon to discuss cases, holdings, and potential legal fallout from important cases that we discuss throughout the semester.

Students will be evaluated by a three-hour open-book exam where class notes as well as the textbook are permitted, but will not allow the use of commercial outlines or review guides.

We are looking forward to a rigorous, fun, and educational semester. Do not hesitate to e-mail me if you have any questions.


First Day Assignments:

Final Exam Schedule: 05/12 4pm-7pm      

This course will have:

Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: No

Experiential Course Type: No

Bar Course: No

DistanceEd ABA 306:

Pass-Fail Student Election: Available

Course Materials (10/20/2021 10:40:25 AM)

Book(s) Required

Course Materials: Health Care Law and Ethics, Hall, Orentlicher, Bobinski, Bagley & Cohen, 9th edition; ISBN: 9781454881803