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Digesting Discourse: How Animal Law Facilitates High Quality Legal Education

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 21:04:49 PST

Animal law teachers typically assert that an animal law classroom provides the ideal training ground for a law student. The purpose of this paper is to critically examine this assertion and, ultimately, to provide a supporting argument for the proposition that animal law is a unique vehicle for providing students with a high quality legal education. Legal education is characterised by distinct and competing discourses with respect to the nature of law teaching, including doctrinalism, vocationalism, corporatism, liberalism, radicalism and educationalism. The first part of the paper provides an overview of Foucauldian discourse theory and a description of each legal education discourse. The second part of the paper provides an examination of the distinctive features of an animal law curriculum and learning environment that make the subject an ideal setting for facilitating high quality student learning, regardless of the predominant discourse in operation.




A Rationale and Framework for Digital Literacies in Legal Education

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 20:49:44 PST

Extract: Assessments of the fitness for purpose of legal education are many and varied. Both broad and specific reviews have been frequently undertaken in the context of higher education, admission requirements and professional standards, and national productivity. Additionally there have been influential projects on matters that inform the way in which legal education is designed. Within the academy, work on internationalisation of the curriculum for example, has provoked discussion internationally. In the higher education context, education for sustainability and Indigenous perspectives has resonance for legal education. Likewise, the profession is increasingly grappling with issues such as wellness and resilience, and gender, each of which flow on to legal education. The contemporary contexts facing legal education, however, do not stop here.




What Are We Trying to Achieve by Teaching Animal Law to Law Students?

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 20:49:41 PST

In light of the increasing number of animal law units being offered by Australian law schools, it is timely to critically reflect upon the objectives of such units. What is it that we seek to achieve when we teach animal law to law students? Is it limited to facilitating a thorough understanding of the law relating to animals? Or are we trying to change the way our students see the world, to inspire them to strive to reform the relationship between animals and the law, and to ultimately modify the relationship between animals and humans? This article examines the desirability and feasibility of teaching animal law to law students with the explicit objective of promoting personal, community and legal transformation, drawing upon the experiences of one of the authors in teaching conservation principles to school children in Africa.




Animal Law Syllabus Design: A New Zealand Perspective

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 20:25:21 PST

Extract:

Since 2013, I have offered a course at the University of Otago’s Faculty of Law entitled ‘Animals and the Law’. Given New Zealand’s reliance upon agriculture, and the fact it can lay claim to ‘leading the way’ with regards to animal welfare, it is perhaps surprising that it is currently the only course focusing on Animal Law offered at any of New Zealand’s six law schools. I am not, however, a trailblazer. Until he left for the University of Alberta in 2010, Professor Peter Sankoff offered such a course at the University of Auckland, and Dr Ian Robertson has offered a course intermittently at the University of Auckland and University of Canterbury. Despite those precedents, however, I designed my course from ‘scratch’. In this short paper, I will describe the structure of the course and explain my reasoning for the content I have included in the course. There is value in sharing syllabus materials and outlining one approach to a subject with many different entry points, and it is my hope that such an account may assist other Australasian legal academics if and when they decide to create their own courses on this important and burgeoning subject.




Learning by Doing: The Benefits of Experiential Learning in Animals and the Law

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 19:49:30 PST

Extract:

Here is a question I enjoy posing to teachers and students participating in a course on animals and the law: what exactly do you do during the 12 (or so) weeks of your seminar? If it resembles a traditional law course, the answer will undoubtedly refer to assigned readings that explore the relationship between animals and the law, some lectures – perhaps followed by questions from the professor to the students – and a healthy dollop of classroom discussion about policy issues. More traditional teachers might also include some Socratic questioning, while more adventurous lecturers will throw in video footage of animal treatment and a few guest speakers.






Embedding Animal Law into Law School Curricula: The Possibilities of Strategic Unit Design

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:55:05 PST

Law schools are increasingly responsive to the introduction of animal law into elective offerings. Despite this, some would be animal law educators may still face institutional resistance to the regular inclusion of animal law in law school curricula. This may be truer today in schools outside of the United States, where the subject has yet to reach the same level of acceptance. The ways an animal law unit can be framed through particular disciplinary lenses so as to draw it into alignment with the research strengths, educational goals, and self-identity of a law school may be a means to render the subject more palatable to course administrators. Alignment with the culture and teaching and research strengths of a law school may also enable greater learning opportunities and outcomes for students. One of the qualities of animal law is its pliability to alternative emphases due to the way in which it straddles many different areas of law and jurisprudence, and engages both the public and private spheres. In this paper I explore alternative framings of an animal law subject that might be catered towards the requirements of a law school or teacher in question along these lines.




Editor's Note - Animal Law Education

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:35:33 PST

Extract:

The theme of this Special Topic Edition is animal law education at the tertiary level. Animal law as a discipline refers to the laws governing the human/non-human animal relationship. The study of animal law encompasses a broad range of laws, and raises a unique variety of legal, philosophical, scientific and political issues. Through studying animal law, students gain an understanding of how and why the law facilitates differential treatment of animals according to context, and encourages them to consider the ethical consistency of our approach to animal protection. It involves questioning the adequacy of the laws, policies, and regulatory structures addressing animal welfare, leading to discussions about law reform. These discussions extend to consideration of arguments to reform the very legal status of animals as human property.




A lifesaving view of vascularized composite allotransplantation: Patient experience of social death before and after face, hand, and larynx transplant

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 21:05:07 PST

Introduction:

Most solid organ transplantation is viewed as lifesaving, whereas vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) has been viewed as life enhancing. This article challenges the latter and argues that “social death” evident in severe face, hand, and larynx disfigurement can be potentially treated via VCA. Social death (from a social science perspective) consists of a combination of 7 components: social isolation, loneliness, ostracism, loss of personhood, change of role and identity, harm, and disfigurement.

Methods

In February 2016, PubMed and Google were searched for case reports of human face, hand, and larynx transplantation. Patient and team narratives were then coded for components of social death using social science and medical model criteria.

Results

Eleven narratives were identified among 9 articles. The social science model (but not the medical model) described pretransplant social death and the resolution of social death by receiving VCA. Notably, the medical model of social death was deemed unsuitable for application to VCA. This is because case narratives consistently contradict elements of the medical model.

Conclusions

By including social death as a patient inclusion criterion for face, hand, and larynx VCA, these transplants can be considered lifesaving. Additionally, because VCA requires lifelong immunosuppressant medication, considering VCA as a lifesaving intervention improves the technology’s risk–benefit analysis. Guidance for assessing social death is provided.




Intravesical gemcitabine treatment: repercussions on normal bladder function.

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 17:55:29 PST

Intravesical treatment for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer involves the direct instillation of immunotherapy or chemotherapy into the bladder. While this approach limits systemic absorption, patients undergoing this localised treatment frequently report significant urological side effects, including increased frequency and urgency of urination, haematuria and dysuria. A relatively new drug used for bladder cancer is gemcitabine, which has shown an improved efficacy and toxicity profile with comparison to the first-line chemotherapy mitomycin C in patients. Elucidating the effects of gemcitabine on the normal cells and changes in the normal function of the bladder may reveal possible targets for preventing, alleviating or treating the adverse urological effects associated with this treatment. Taken together, the results of this thesis suggest that intravesical gemcitabine induces a painful and overactive bladder phenotype in patients through a combination of enhanced urothelial and inflammatory mediators and altered efferent nerve activity, which may sensitise afferent nerves and reduce detrusor muscle contraction respectively.




International access to clinical ethics consultation via telemedicine

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 16:36:08 PST

[Extract] Clinical ethics consultation (CEC) is a service provided by clinical ethicists (or sometimes, clinical ethics committees) to enhance patient care by identifying, analyzing, and resolving ethics dilemmas in clinical settings. CEC has long been offered as part of health care services in the US, but it is less common in other countries, perhaps because of a lack of trained personnel due to limitations in the number of clinical ethics fellowships [4-6]. A result of this relative lack of clinical ethics training is that, in some parts of the world, CEC is either not available or it is performed by unskilled personnel.




The use of visual arts as a window to diagnosing medical pathologies

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 16:27:31 PST

Observation is a key step preceding diagnosis, prognostication, and treatment. Careful patient observation is a skill that is learned but rarely explicitly taught. Furthermore, proper clinical observation requires more than a glance; it requires attention to detail. In medical school, the art of learning to look can be taught using the medical humanities and especially visual arts such as paintings and film. Research shows that such training improves not only observation skills but also teamwork, listening skills, and reflective and analytical thinking. Overall, the use of visual arts in medical school curricula can build visual literacy: the capacity to identify and analyze facial features, emotions, and general bodily presentations, including contextual features such as clothing, hair, and body art. With the ability to formulate and convey a detailed "picture" of the patient, clinicians can integrate aesthetic and clinical knowledge, helping facilitate the diagnosing of medical pathologies.




Assessing the reliability of ultrasound imaging to examine peripheral nerve excursion: A systematic literature review

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 16:06:45 PST

Ultrasound imaging (USI) is gaining popularity as a tool for assessing nerve excursion and is becoming an important tool for the assessment and management of entrapment neuropathies. This systematic review aimed to identify current methods and report on the reliability of using USI to examine nerve excursion and identify the level of evidence supporting the reliability of this technique. A systematic search of five electronic databases identified studies assessing the reliability of using USI to examine nerve excursion. Two independent reviewers critically appraised and assessed the methodological quality of the identified articles. Eighteen studies met the eligibility criteria. The majority of studies were of "moderate" or "high" methodological quality. The overall analysis indicated a "strong" level of evidence of moderate to high reliability of using USI to assess nerve excursion. Further reliability studies with consistency of reporting are required to further strengthen the level of evidence.