PBH2004 - Health, law and ethics - 2018

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

School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Liz Bishop


Dr Liz Bishop

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


PHH3001, HSC3001Not offered in 2018


This unit considers health in the context of the Australian legal system, together with the ethical frameworks underpinning that context.

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 also introduced to the ethical framework, through an examination of ethical theory, professional ethics, confidentiality, informed consent and relationships with patients. Consideration will also be given to the role of human rights in health.

The interrelationship between legal and ethical aspects of healthcare practice is explored through the use of case studies and discussion of topical issues.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students will:

  1. Explain the regulatory and legislative mechanisms of the Australian legal system in relation to healthcare practice
  2. Describe medical and professional ethics and different ethical perspectives as related to healthcare
  3. Relate the importance of law, human rights and ethics in professional practice
  4. Discuss the concepts of confidentiality, privacy, informed consent
  5. Examine topical issues in health from the perspectives of law, rights and ethics.


  • Group presentation (15 minutes) (10%)
  • Written assignment (1,800 words) (30%)
  • Written assignment (3,600 words) (60%)

Hurdle Requirement: 80% attendance at tutorials and participation in online tasks

Workload requirements

1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial, 3 hours of directed online student learning activities, plus 6 hours of self-directed study per week.

See also Unit timetable information

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