Medical and Biomedical Law

ldrop2131  2021-2022  Louvain-la-Neuve

Medical and Biomedical Law
5.00 credits
30.0 h
Main themes
After a general presentation of the legal, deontological and ethical instruments applicable to the medical field, an analysis will be made of several themes of medical and biomedical law. As an example, one or the other of the following topical themes may be studied: the rights of the patient and the rights of the professional practitioner, including the (electronic) medical record, e-health, telemedicine; euthanasia and palliative care; the removal and transplantation of organs or human body material; embryo research; therapeutic or reproductive cloning ; medically assisted procreation; prenatal diagnosis and preimplantation diagnosis; gamete donation; surrogacy; genetic testing; experiments on the human person; medical liability, ethics committees, implications of developments in artificial intelligence, etc.
The student is led to develop a critical and constructive reflection on the specific questions related to medical law and bioethics that are currently raised in society, in Belgium and elsewhere. 
This implies that at the end of the course, he or she understands and masters the legal, deontological and ethical aspects raised by biomedical law in several concrete issues.
He is also invited to formulate proposals for the future in interdisciplinary themes.
The themes analyzed during the course may include the following:
Patient rights, including patient autonomy and the ways in which it can be expressed; representation of patients unable to exercise their rights; access to the patient record (electronic or not)
The protection regime for the vulnerable person (elderly, mentally ill, child)
The protection of privacy
The beginning of life: medically assisted procreation, surrogate motherhood, termination of pregnancy
The end of Life: Palliative Care, Euthanasia
Research: embryos; experiments on the human person
The removal and use of organs, human body material and other human materials
Civil, criminal and ethical liability (health care professionals, health care institutions); compensation for health care damages
Teaching methods
Achieving the teaching objectives implies, among other things, a careful analysis of texts, the development of critical reasoning, an openness to interdisciplinarity and to foreign systems, and good written and oral expression.
The sessions emphasize interaction with students on the different themes studied.
A passive knowledge of Dutch is desired. Documents and links are available to students on Moodle. 
Evaluation methods
The student is invited to choose, at the beginning of the course, one of these two evaluation methods:
First modality
* The first half of the evaluation covers the oral session: analysis of the chosen theme, preliminary meetings with field actors, organization of the discussion with students and possible experts, use of multimedia; at the student's choice, the grade can be awarded individually or collectively for the group of students.
* The second half of the assessment consists of a written assignment on the theme prepared by the student for the in-depth session. It should be about 15 pages per student, excluding the bibliography (11 gauge format, 1.5 line spacing). This work can be written individually or collectively by the group of students who prepared the session; at the student's choice, the grade can be given individually for a specific part of the work or collectively for the group of students.
Second modality
* An exam, presented during the session, covering the subjects seen during the sessions (taught by the professor or presented by the students in the course of their work): open questions on theory and applications of theory to a practical case.
* Only non-annotated legislation can be brought to the exam. The exam is therefore not open book.
Online resources
Publications, .ppt presentations, case law decisions and legal, deontological or ethical instruments related to the topics analyzed in the course are available on Moodle.
  • V. le site Moodle du cours
v. le site Moodle du cours.
Teaching materials
  • V. le site Moodle du cours
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Master [120] in Law (shift schedule)

Master [120] in Ethics

Master [120] in Law