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.


Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Bathurst Campus
Port Macquarie Campus
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 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:
  • Be able to critically discuss the legal and ethical issues pertaining to the field of prehospital care.
  • Be able to identify steps in ethical decisionmaking.
  • 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.
  • Be able discuss concepts of bioethics related to practice.


This 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.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PHC190 in Session 2 2019. 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 %
Essay: contemporary legal issues in paramedicine
Engagement tasks - graded modules for each topic
Pecha kucha reflection on ethical practice
Open book examination
Interactivity: your best 2 forum postings

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: October 2020. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.