Full Title:Ethical and Legal Practice
Language of Instruction:English
Module Code:LAW N8009
Credits: 5
Valid From:Semester 1 - 2013/14 ( September 2013 )
Module Delivered in 2 programme(s)
Module Description:This module helps the learner to identify and apply legal and ethical concepts to guide them in their area of nursing practice.
Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to
  1. Using ethical theories and principles, analyze and debate ethical issues encountered in nursing from a multicultural perspective.
  2. Evaluate the legal context for the accountabilty of the nurse within the framework established by legislation.
  3. Discuss the other areas of legal accountabilty applicable to general nursing incluidng professional negligence, consent and capacity, confidentiality and record keeping.

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Ethics Generic Content
Traditional Ethical Theories: Consequentialism, Deontology, Rights based Ethics, Virtue Ethics.
Contemporary Ethical Theories
Contemporary Ethical Theories: Principalism, Ethics of care. Narrative ethics, Feminist ethics.
Ethical Principles
Ethical Principles: Beneficence, Autonomy, Truth telling, Confidentially, Justice, Integrity.
Ethical decision-making
Ethical decision-making frameworks and ethics committees.
Ethics General Nursing Discipline Specific Content
Ethical dilemmas: Current and topical ethical dilemmas related to general nursing will be debated in class: Possible topics: Whistleblowing, Allocation of scarce resources, DNR, Abortion, Dementia, Organ donation, Think Ahead.
Law Generic Content: Review of Statutory Regulation
The Nurses and Midwifes Act 2011, the role of the Nursing and Midwifery Board, registration and fitness to practice, the code of professional conduct.
Law General Nursing Discipline Specific Content: Professional negligence and the nurse
The test of medical negligence, the 'Dunne' principles, application of the principles to nurses by the Irish courts, the role and view of the Nurses and Midwives Board.
Consent and capacity
The test of 'informed consent' and the reasonable patient approach, capacity and consent, specifc issues such as children and consent, the principles applicable when determining the capacity question ang the 'K' decision. Proposals for reform in this area.
Other areas of accountability
The legal duty of confidentiality; the significance and role of nursing records; data protection
Assessment Breakdown%
End of Module Formal Examination100.00%
Reassessment Requirement
A repeat examination
Reassessment of this module will consist of a repeat examination. It is possible that there will also be a requirement to be reassessed in a coursework element.
Reassessment Description
Repeat end of term exam

DKIT reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload & Resources

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture 12 weeks 4.00 Every Week 4.00
Directed Reading 12 weeks 38.00 Once per semester 2.53
Independent Study 12 weeks 39.00 Once per semester 2.60
Total Weekly Learner Workload 9.13
Total Weekly Contact Hours 4.00
This course has no Part Time workload.
Recommended Book Resources
  • Dooley, D. & McCarthy, J 2001, Nursing Ethics: Irish Cases and Concerns, 2nd.Ed. Ed., Gill & Macmillan. Dublin
  • Yeo, M. and Moorhouse, A. (eds.) 2010, Concepts and Cases in Nursing Ethics, 3rd.ed. Ed., Broadview Press. Peterborough, Ont., Canada
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Neil Van Dokkum 2011, Nursing Law for students in Ireland, 2nd Ed., 16, Gill and Macmillan Dublin [ISBN: 9780717149872]
Recommended Article/Paper Resources
  • Journal of Advanced Nursing
  • Medico-Legal Journal of
  • Nursing Ethics
  • International Journal of Nursing Studies
Other Resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
DK_NGNUR_8 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in General Nursing 6 Mandatory
nocode13 Bachelor of Science in Health Studies (General Nursing Exit Award) 6 Mandatory