SSC502 Ethics, Law and Medical Science (8)

This subject aims to acquaint students with current ethical and legal issues in biomedical, and science research and health care practice. Using a number of ethical principles, the subject examines the role of ethics and law, paying particular attention to issues such as genetic engineering and recombinant DNA research, human and foetal experimentation and reproductive technology. The subject also considers the rights of patients in medical research and treatment and the role of the law. The subject concludes with an examination of codes of ethics and the role and functioning of Institutional Ethics Committees.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2021.

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 Humanities and Social Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Not available to students who have completed ETH403 or LAW131.

Incompatible Subjects

ETH403, LAW131

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of ethical principles derived from ethical theory and relevant to biomedical research and health care practice
  • be able to apply these principles to case studies arising within biomedical research and health care practice
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the way in which the law protects individuals who are patients or subjects of research, and
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the role of Institutional Ethics Committees in the regulation of research


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Overview of Ethical theory
  • Ethical Principles
    • autonomy
    • beneficence
    • non-maleficence
    • justice
  • Case studies in Bioethics
  • Research, Treatment and Rights
    • Consent and Negligence
    • Experimentation and Ethical Codes
  • Institutional Ethics Committees

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.