Assignment 02: term paper: topic proposal | HA4050D-Healthcare Law | National American University

HA4050D – Healthcare Law

Assignment 02: Term Paper: Topic Proposal


 Task: Submit to complete this assignment

In this course, you will be writing a term paper. The paper will analyze a single medical-legal case or a group of similar cases. 

Your final paper will be in APA format and contain a title page; an abstract page; a body—with an introduction, 2-4 pages of factual background on the case(s) or issue, 2-4 pages of analysis of the legal issues, and a strong conclusion—then a reference page with at least 6 scholarly source citations.

The first step in writing your paper will be to choose your topic. The topic must be approved by your instructor. It must also be within the scope of this class, and clearly focus on the intersection between both law and medicine in some form. In this assignment, you will write the topic proposal for submission to your instructor.

Remember that, in the body of a research paper, you must support all factual statements that are not common knowledge with a source citation. Thus, you should make sure that your topic has plenty of available source material before you begin writing.


Write a topic proposal for your final term paper. Include the following information:

1.The name of the case/issue.

2.A citation and link to the case and/or an article discussing it.

3.Explain what interests you about this topic and the treatment you would give the subject in your paper.

For example, a good proposal would be: “I would like to do my paper on the Smith vs. Regional Hospital case, 867 A.2d 283 (N.J. 2002). Here is a link to an article about the case . . . This case interests me because it deals with the limits on what treatment nurse practitioners can provide, and that is a current issue in the field I’m working in. My paper would discuss how the changing standards for what treatment that non-physician medical staff can provide is improving patient care . . .”


To generate topic ideas, you could:

.Consider your own interests. The best papers are written by authors who are interested in their topics. While a research paper must not include personal anecdotes or experiences, perhaps something in your own life or career happened that sparked your interest and made you want to learn more.

.Simply flip through your textbook and look at the cases discussed. See if something piques your interest. Almost any case in the textbook could be the start of an acceptable paper topic.

.Use an online search engine, such as Google. You may not find your case that way, but it may spark ideas.

.Consult the NAU Library. The electronic database called Nexis Uni is full of case opinions from across America. You will be doing much of your research in the online library. Why not start there now?

When choosing a topic, AVOID the following:

.Abortion, universal health care, or other hot-button political topics. It will be hard to find any truly unbiased sources, and it may also be hard to separate your own biases and opinions in order to write a scholarly, even-handed paper.

.Topics where your sources would be mainly tabloids or other non-scholarly material. You should not be doing your research while in line at the supermarket! A prime example of a topic to avoid would be the legal issues surrounding Michael Jackson’s death.

.Cases that are brand-new and have not yet concluded. Something that was on the news last night has not been fully litigated. That means you would have little information to go on and would not be able to fully analyze what conclusions might be drawn from the case.

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