LAW4312 - Legal issues in medicine - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


The Unit explores legal and ethical dilemmas that arise in medicine and law. A central focus will be considering the principles and regulation of medical practice and allied health professionals under Victorian law; the legal and ethical duties owed by doctors to their patients; consent and refusal of medical treatment; competence and incompetence in law and medicine; medical negligence; abortion and wrongful birth, pregnancy and life claims and active and passive euthanasia. These topics will include consideration of the adult, child and disabled patient. Although the unit focuses on Australian law, such issues will also explore approaches taken in overseas jurisdictions.


On completion of the Unit students will be able to:

  • Identify and articulate the principles and concepts governing the medical profession and healthcare setting and the ethical and policy issues raised by medical law;
  • Critically assess claims in relation to medical negligence and new and novel claims that have arisen in medical law;
  • Apply skills to review, analyse, consolidate and synthesis the above knowledge to identify and provide solutions to complex problems arising out of the practice or development of, or activities pertaining to medical law;
  • Demonstrate legal research and reasoning skills in approaching complex legal problems and the ability to articulate and evaluate policy considerations in response to difficult dilemmas and areas that may require legal reform;
  • Communicate effectively, appropriately and persuasively on issues pertaining to medical law; and
  • Learn and work autonomously and make use of feedback to assess their own capabilities and performance and to support personal and professional development.


Examination (2 hours plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 60 % and written assignment (2000 words): 40%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later:

LAW1111; LAW1114; LAW1112; LAW1113; LAW2101; LAW2102; LAW2112; LAW2111

For students who commenced their LLB course prior to 2015: LAW1100 OR LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104; LAW2201 and LAW2202


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later: LAW3111 and LAW3112