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LAW3467 Health Law

Semester 1, 2019 Online
Short Description: Health Law
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Law and Justice
Student contribution band : Band 3
ASCED code : 090900 - Law
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Lynda Crowley-Cyr


((LAW1111 or LAW5111) and (LAW1112 or LAW5112)) or ((LAW1201 or LAW5501) and (LAW1113 or LAW5113)) or ((LAW2201 and LAW2203) or (LAW5601 and LAW5603)).

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at


Health law represents a body of law that regulates health care and health related activities. This is a dynamic skills based course that builds on earlier law courses like torts, criminal law and contract law. The primary objective of this course is the development of future legal professionals who can effectively undertake cross disciplinary research with confidence, and evaluate and apply underlying legal and ethical principles of health law. Topics include the statutory regulation of health care in Australia; ethics and professionalism in health care; confidentiality and ownership of medical records; privacy and health information; consent to medical treatment; medical negligence; abortion; reproductive technology; surrogacy; euthanasia; living will legislation; human tissue and organ transplantation; and complaints against health care professionals.


Contemporary developments in health knowledge and care have captured the attention and imagination of most Australians. More headlines appear to be devoted to health in the popular media than any other single area. Increased public awareness has also occurred in terms of the legal rights of those who access the health care system and the responsibility of health professions. Health law has become a distinct and important area of legal practice both internationally and locally. It is a dynamic, interdisciplinary expanding field recognised by universities as a distinct area of study and research. The study of health law requires an open mindedness and professional attitude because of the sometimes deeply controversial and emotional nature of the topics covered. Everyone has views about the role of the law in terms of regulating health care because we are all the potentially affected. As such, this course encourages students to research, critically analyse and appreciate the often contradictory perspectives that emerge from the topics. Students will learn how to problem solve in an area that is vulnerable to sometimes unsatisfactory resolutions.


On the successful completion of this course students should be able to demonstrate:

  1. basic knowledge of a range of fundamental concepts that lie at the foundation of substantive law in the field of health care including legal and ethical dimensions of Queensland’s health laws, policies and system, how they function and how they compare with similar laws, policies and systems in other jurisdictions
  2. knowledge of the implications of health issues for Queensland law reform, policy and practice and distinguish between ‘law in the books’ and ‘law in action’ by contextualising health laws within the broader social, political, cultural, spiritual, environmental and economic framework of Australian society
  3. enhanced interdisciplinary research skills with social justice purpose in the field of health and health care
  4. enhanced thinking skills by consistently applying an analytical and critical law technique to new knowledge that embodies a balanced approach to complex legal issues from a range of stakeholder perspectives so as to evaluate competing claims and arguments about possible legal and ethical problems in the context of health and health care
  5. ability to reason and deploy evidence clearly and logically in support of their arguments on how the boundary of responsibilities by health professionals to their patients is to be lawfully negotiated
  6. competency in effective communication (oral and written) in a professional and respectful way that is sensitive to diverse purposes and different audiences.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Legal framework of health care and the ethics of health care 20.00
2. Privacy and health information 10.00
3. Consent to medical treatment 20.00
4. Medical negligence and the concept of harm 10.00
5. Reproduction (pre-conception, conception and birth) 20.00
6. The ending of life. 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Allan, S & Blake, M 2018, Australian Health Law 2018, LexisNexis, Chatswood, New South Wales.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Kerridge, I, Lowe, M & Stewart, C 2013, Ethics and law for the health professions, 4th edn, Federation Press, Annandale, New South Wales.
White, B, McDonald, F & Willmott, L 2018, Health law in Australia, 3rd edn, Thomson Reuters, Pyrmont, New South Wales.
The above texts are a sample of what is available in this field. Students will be encouraged to use electronic websites to obtain materials online. Health law is typically cutting edge and useful websites like the World Health Organisation; eMJA; New Scientist and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare are but a few.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 61.00
Directed Study 39.00
Private Study 65.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 10 10 02 Apr 2019
ASSIGNMENT 2 40 40 07 May 2019
ASSIGNMENT 3: FINAL ESSAY 50 50 30 May 2019

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Online: There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

    On-campus: It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments:
    Students studying this course as part of a Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor must use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) style. Students who are not enrolled in either of these programs may use either Harvard (AGPS) or the AGLC in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. For AGLC style guide enquiries, consult the AGLC manual from the USQ Library's referencing guide at, or contact the Law librarian. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at