PHC190 Paramedic Law and Ethics (8)

This subject will provide students with an introductory understanding of the legal, ethical and professionalism issues and challenges that they will face in their practice, and the tools, principles and frameworks they can use to help navigate these issues and challenges.

This subject is structured in such a way as to provide students with the legal and ethical theoretical principles necessary to practice safely as a paramedic but delivered in a way that allows students to immediately start applying those principles. This is supported by opportunities for deliberation, discussion, critique and reflection in a case-based framework.

The themes of client autonomy and self-determination, client rights and professional responsibility will be examined within the context of pre-hospital care and include an examination of issues relating to particular groups that paramedics work with including the aged, children, disabled, indigenous and those who lack capacity to make independent decisions.


Session 2 (60)
Bathurst 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

Grading System



One session


School of Nursing, Paramedicine and Healthcare Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Enrolment is restricted to students in the Bachelor of Clinical Practice (Paramedic), Bachelor of Paramedicine, Bachelor of Paramedicine (Honours).

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to critically discuss the legal and ethical issues pertaining to the field of pre-hospital care;
  • be able to identify steps in ethical decision making;
  • be able to discuss the relationship between legal and professional responsibility;
  • be able to describe legal and ethical issues relating to particular client, religious, cultural and Indigenous groups within the health care system; and
  • be able discuss concepts of bioethics related to practice.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Professional role, responsibilities, issues and conduct, in particular the place of professional Codes of Conduct for Paramedics;
  • Legal and ethical issues pertinent to out-of-hospital care: patient rights, professional rights, privacy, confidentiality, withdrawal of treatment and advance directives;
  • Legal and ethical issues inherent in a range of clinical areas including those related to developmental disability, palliative care, critical care, public health;
  • Legal and ethical issues relating to specific health care groups, including women, adolescents, children, mentally disordered, developmentally disabled and Indigenous people;
  • Introduction to legislation relating to pre-hospital care: including poisons, mental health, workplace health and safety, protection, guardianship, civil liability and law;
  • Structure of Australian legal system, sources of law, and application, including the tort of negligence, vicarious liability, assault and battery, consent, false imprisonment in the context of pre-hospital care and human rights;
  • Ethical theory, principles and values;
  • Bioethical issues related to health care delivery; and
  • Documentation of practice.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PHC190 in Session 2 2021. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Multiple choice quiz: formative assessment
Essay: essential ethical issues in paramedicine
Essay: essential legal issues in paramedicine
On-line exam

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: June 2022. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.