PHC190 Paramedic Law and Ethics (8)


This subject will provide students with an introduction to legal and ethical issues in relation to practice as a paramedic. The themes of client autonomy and self-determination, client rights and professional responsibility will be examined within the context of pre-hospital care.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 2
InternalBathurst Campus
InternalPort Macquarie
DistanceBathurst Campus
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PHC190
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Biomedical Sciences

Enrolment restrictions

Available only to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Clinical Practice (Paramedic) course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:

  1. Be able to identify the laws that influence paramedic practice.
  2. Be able to critically discuss the legal and ethical issues pertaining to the field of pre-hospital care.
  3. Be able to identify steps in ethical decision-making.
  4. Be able to discuss the relationship between legal and professional responsibility.
  5. Be able to describe legal and ethical issues relating to particular client, religious, cultural and Indigenous groups within the health care system.
  6. Be able discuss concepts of bio-ethics related to practice.


The subject will cover the following topics:
  1. Professional role, responsibilities, issues and conduct, in particular the place of professional Codes of Ethics and Conduct for Paramedics.
  2. Legal and ethical issues pertinent to pre-hospital care: patient rights, professional rights, privacy, confidentiality, withdrawal of treatment and advance directives.
  3. Introduction to legislation relating to pre-hospital care: Poisons Act, Mental Health Act, Occupational Health and Safety Act, Child Protection and Guardianship, Coroner's Act.
  4. Legal and ethical issues relating to specific health care groups, including women, adolescents, children, mentally disordered, developmentally disabled and Indigenous people. Ethical issues are inherent in a range of clinical areas and include those related to developmental disability, palliative care, blood borne viruses, critical care, public health.
  5. Structure of Australian legal system, sources of law, and application, including the tort of negligence, vacarious liability, assault and battery, consent, false imprisonment in the context of pre-hospital care.
  6. Ethical theory, principles and values.
  7. Bioethical issues related to health care delivery.
  8. Documentation of practise.


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.