Health, Ethics and the Law (HSBH3004)


This unit of study focuses on ethics and law in relation to the Australian health system. Fundamental ethical principles applied to ethical issues in health and health research are covered. Medico-legal aspects of health and health services will be explored. Particular areas of focus include mental health, health complaints, reproductive technologies, the start and end of life, disability, public health and genetic technology. Students will develop their own ethical thinking and an understanding of professionally acceptable behaviours appropriate to practice in a wide range of health professions. Learning is interactive and scenarios are used to develop ethical thinking. Students get to write a research report on an ethical and legal issue of their choosing.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


2x1-hr lectures/week, 1-hr tutorial/week


Mid-semester exam (20%), research report (40%) and final exam (40%)


Kerridge, I., Lowe, M., & Stewart, C. (2013). Ethics and law for the health professions. Leichardt: The Federation Press.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


HSBH1006 and (HSBH1007 or HSBH2007) and HSBH1008 and HSBH1009

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.