How to teach integrated law and ethics and regulation to health care students

Written by Catherine Berglund

Can your students enjoy learning about ethics? What about law? And regulation? What about all at the same time? Can integrated issues be explained in a way that is meaningful for the health care careers they have chosen? Is there a way to brief your teaching team so they feel confident and equipped to guide students through their learning?

You probably know the answer is yes. Every learning journey should be interesting, and all the better with an experienced guide. When the knowledge drawn from law, ethics and regulation is understood in an integrated and practical way, the subject area remains interesting and relevant to students.

Now more than ever, it is crucial for health care professionals to understand why integrated professional responsibility, law and ethics is important in health care settings. Although it is easy to learn simple rules, your role as a professional in health care is not so simple. The standards and rules are necessarily complex, and they reflect considerable input from law, ethics and regulation. Following the standards and rules requires your professional training and thoughtful reflection. It is even better if you also grasp why standards and rules have been set out for you and your colleagues to follow, to allow you to pause and reflect at moments when you need to decide what the best thing to do is. That’s where understanding a little more about the integration of law, ethics and regulation will help you to uphold your professional responsibilities.

Integrating Law, Ethics and Regulation aims to provide a concise and practical briefing on law, ethics and regulation to help your students engage with the subject and to support their continued reflection and learning. We have been careful to cover topics that are essential in integrated professional responsibility, law and ethics subjects, as well as policy, organisation governance, and regulation. This will help you to find plenty of material to use in your own stand alone and integrated clinical courses.

Designed to be taught across a broad range of health care courses, we have ensured practical examples are drawn from diverse health care settings and health professions. Each chapter can also be read on their own to make it easier for you to find relevant content specific to either law, or ethics, or regulation. The first chapter gives a brief explanation of all three and how they work together in an integrated and practical way.

As students work through the chapters and companion readings and exercises, they will start to realise that law, ethics and regulation is not as complex and unwieldy as it first seemed. They will be equipped with a conceptual framework to understand more about standards and rules as they train and work in the health sector.

Catherine Berglund: Catherine Berglund has worked in applied ethics and regulatory aspects of health care, standards and policy for close to 30 years. As well as completing a PhD on professional and community limits for medical research, Catherine taught health care ethics for over 20 years at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She is legally qualified, and contributes to many regulatory and practical standards endeavours for registered health professionals and health care workers.

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