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Health Law Intensive course

The University of Otago’s Faculty of Law is pleased to offer this postgraduate-focused course. It is of interest to senior clinicians, health board members, chief executives, and senior managers working in the health sector. Enrolment is also open to post-graduate law students and practising lawyers with an interest in the field of health law.

The course will be held in the Te Puni Room in the Wharewaka Function Centre - Taranaki Wharf, Wellington from 22-26 August 2022.

To enrol, please email the enrolment form to:

What to expect at the Health Law Intensive course

The course consists of 5 full days of intensive teaching. Each day includes lectures, case studies, and small group work, addressing the most important legal issues and challenges faced by the health sector.

Numbers are limited to allow plenty of interaction with presenters and other participants. A list of topics is set out below and in the attached brochure.

Participants will be expected to prepare for the course with pre-course reading.

Who should attend?

You will benefit from this course if you are working in a senior role in the health sector. In particular, you should consider attending if you:

  • Practise as a chief medical adviser, clinical director/leader or as a senior clinician in the New Zealand health sector.
  • Serve as a board member, chief executive, or senior manager of a health sector organisation (including DHBs, private hospitals, and NGOs)
  • Have worked as a senior clinician or manager in an overseas jurisdiction and wish to develop your knowledge of New Zealand health law
  • Are undertaking vocational training with any of the Royal Australasian Colleges
  • Are considering studying towards a postgraduate qualification in health law, such as a University of Otago Masters in Bioethics and Health Law

Course overview (with examples of topics covered)

Day 1: Health systems and the law

  • Introduction to New Zealand’s legal system
  • New Zealand’s Medico-Legal landscape
  • The public health and disability sector – how we got here and where we are going
  • New Zealand’s no-fault compensation scheme
  • Civil and criminal liability relating to the provision of health and disability services
  • Health sector funding, procurements and contracting
  • Compulsory assessment and treatment

Day 2: Health consumers and the law

  • Promoting and protecting patients’ rights under the Code of Rights
  • Duty of care
  • Informed consent
  • Advance directives
  • Enduring Powers of Attorney
  • Healthcare decision making in the absence of consent
  • Healthcare decisions by and for children

Day 3: Health practitioners and the law

  • Managing concerns about health, competence, or conduct of health practitioners
  • Collective bargaining
  • Ensuring workplace health and safety
  • Human Rights and the health and disability Sector
  • Public health law
  • Key principles of employment law
  • Preventing, managing and learning from complaints

Day 4: Making good decisions in the provision of healthcare

  • Health information privacy
  • Official Information
  • Protected Quality Assurance Activities
  • Prioritising in a resource constrained environment
  • Complying with principles of natural justice and avoiding judicial review
  • Major inquiries
  • Governance in the health and disability sector

Day 5: Health law and ethics

  • Beginning of life
  • Organ donation
  • Withdrawal of treatment
  • End of life
  • Reporting of deaths and coronial inquiries