BEH1042 - Law, ethics and professionalism - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice


Mr Peter Jurkovsky

Not offered in 2017


Law, Ethics and Professionalism will provide Bachelor of Emergency Health students with a sound basis for their legal and ethical practice within a chosen profession. The unit is divided into three distinct themes which blend together to assist in their understanding of legal principles, the application of legal standards, assessment and application of ethical practices while analysing the overarching concepts of professionalism in a challenging and continually developing area of health practice.

The unit will offer a broad range of teaching and learning strategies to accommodate the variety of participants in a non-clinical setting with an emphasis in supporting students in these activities. A combination of a prescribed text written specifically for the discipline and referral articles that encompass a wider field of practice will be used in conjunction with lectures, tutorials, online discussion and research tasks. A particularly important area of activity within the unit will be applying the principles in contextualised scenarios that relate directly to paramedic practice to ensure students consider and reflect upon areas of their professional practice, beyond the purely clinical environment.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a requisite level of knowledge of the Australian legal system and its principles whilst also exhibiting an understanding of the requirements of the law in professional paramedic practice.
  2. Identify particularly important legislation, cases and legal concepts while applying their principles to professional paramedic practice.
  3. Identify the basis and application of the fundamental rights and responsibilities of all involved in pre-hospital care while assessing principles of personal autonomy, consent and refusal of treatment by discussing and analysing difficult facts scenarios within the health care paradigm.
  4. Discuss and analyse the significance of regulation and registration in paramedic practice while assessing the various ways in which registration authorities receive, consider and adjudicate on issues affecting professional health practice.
  5. Identify and assess the issues associated with surrogate and end of life decision making in health care generally while analysing the unique requirements in the pre-hospital environment.
  6. Assess and practically apply the requirements of accurate record keeping, confidentiality and mandatory reporting in health care generally and paramedic practice specifically.
  7. Identify and discuss the essential ethical and bioethical theories while applying them to the role of the paramedic.
  8. Accurately describe contemporary models of professionalism and their application to the role of the paramedic while practically applying the appropriate models in problem based scenarios.


  • Research paper (50%) (Hurdle)
  • Final examination (50%) (Hurdle)

Workload requirements

The unit is structured around two, two-hour lectures and one one-hour tutorial each week (Weeks 2 - 11 inclusive). In addition to attending lectures and tutorials it is expected that students complete a minimum of 1 hour of personal study per one hour of contact time (approximately 10 hours per week) in order to satisfy the reading and assignment expectations.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Must be enrolled in course 3445.