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Unit information: Pathology & Ethics in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Pathology & Ethics
Unit code MEDI30007
Credit points 0
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Maggiani
Open unit status Not open

Must have progressed from previous year of the MB ChB Programme



School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


The Pathology Element is designed to give students experience in the four main branches of Pathology (Clinical Biochemistry, Haematology, Histopathology, and Microbiology).

The aim of the ethics and law teaching in Year 3 is a reflective one. The emphasis is on both the application of clinical skills and knowledge in making ethically sound clinical decisions, and the application of ethical theories and analysis to real-world clinical dilemmas.

Intended learning outcomes

General aims are:

  • to develop an understanding of the pathological basis of disease
  • to develop an understanding of the use and limitations of the results produced by the diagnostic pathology laboratory service.

Ethics and Law Learning Outcomes are:

  • Show how your learning in Years 1 and 2 can be applied to a clinical case study
  • Demonstrate competence in ethical and legal analysis of a case study
  • Articulate the ethical and legal requirements in gaining consent to treatment, including treatment of minors
  • Summarise the main issues in child treatment and practitioner duties in this area
  • Outline the ethical and legal requirements in medical research

Teaching details

3 weeks introductory lecture/tutorial block in Pathology followed by 6 weeks academy attachments incorporating 1 week Ethics. Ethics: Two days of ethics lectures/tutorials in Academies, a 1 hour central lecture in week 2. Communication Skills: half day of small group teaching in week 4; GP half day sessions per unit.

Assessment Details

Pathology Element: Teaching is divided between Core teaching and Academy placement. The Core teaching Block is currently based on formal lectures. The Academy Teaching is delivered in to a variety of methods. They include small group tutorials, case scenario discussions and lab experiences for most elements, bed side teaching and ward rounds for Haematology and Microbiology. A number of Academies provide access to post mortem during the Histopathology placement and when that is not available alternative video link connection to the mortuary is currently in place as an alternative.

Ethics and Law: There are three face-to-face Academy ethics tutorials in this Element, as well as two online tutorials.

Reading and References

Library link