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HSC2061 - Legal and ethical frameworks

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Ms Debra Griffiths


Peninsula First semester 2007 (Day)


This unit deals with two primary aspects of professional practice in the health and social care system, namely the legal and ethical principles that govern the operation of the system and the behaviour of individuals within it. The unit commences with an introduction to the legal framework, covering common law, statute law and the legal responsibilities of health and social care professionals. Students are then introduced to the ethical framework, through an examination of ethical theory, professional ethics, confidentiality, informed consent and relationships with patients. The complex interrelationship between legal and ethical aspects of healthcare practice is explored.


By the completion of this unit, it is expected that the student will be able to:

  1. demonstrate knowledge of the legal framework pertinent to healthcare practice;
  2. explain why the study of health law is an essential aspect of professional practice;
  3. discuss issues related to justice in the healthcare system;
  4. develop an understanding of the nature of professional ethics and different ethical perspectives as related to healthcare; and
  5. understand the importance of confidentiality and informed consent.


Written assignments (2 x 2500 words): 100%
Hurdle requirement: 80% attendance at tutorials