LAW5600 - Issues in medical ethics and law - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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



Quota applies

The unit can be taken by a maximum of 45 students (due to limited facilities and method of teaching).

Not offered in 2019


This unit will cover a selected number of issues in medical law and ethics. Topics will include general issues that revolve around notions of autonomy, competency and compulsion as well as a number of contemporary bioethics issues such as organ transplantation, abortion and medical research.

In discussing these issues, students will be encouraged to think about the differences as well as the interplay between legal rules and ethical guidelines. The discussions will also include a consideration of the approaches taken by different countries and students will be invited to think critically about the responses of different jurisdictions.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. apply knowledge and understanding of fundamental issues in medical law and ethics and exercise analytical skill with creativity and initiative to new situations for further learning;
  2. investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information in relation to concepts, theories and problems in medical law and ethics;
  3. conduct research into the fundamental aspects of medical law and ethics to create new understandings of current and emerging problems, based on knowledge of appropriate research principles and methods; and
  4. use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate complex issues involving medical law and ethics and communicate effectively and persuasively to specialist or non-specialist audiences and peers.


One research assignment (3,750 words): 50%

One take-home examination (3,750 words): 50%

Workload requirements

Students will be required to attend 36 hours of seminars, and undertake approximately an additional 108 hours of private study, including reading, class preparation, assignment preparation and revision time over the duration of the course.