The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


Students develop and apply advanced research, critical thinking and problem solving skills to legal and policy topics relevant to the delivery of health care and the conduct of biomedical research. Key topics include: legal foundations of the health care system; negligence and patient safety; consent to health care; privacy and confidentiality of health information; genetics; human reproductive technologies; public health, including infectious and chronic disease control; allocation of health care resources; research involving human participants; decision-making at the end of life. The course focuses on the contemporary Australian context and incorporates international comparative material.

Availability2019 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 2 - 2019

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Apply specialist legal knowledge and advanced critical thinking skills to a range of health law and policy problems.

2. Conduct independent and advanced research on health law and policy problems using primary and secondary research resources.

3. Compare and contrast different legal and policy approaches to addressing health law and policy problems.

4. Critique and justify options for law reform to address controversial areas in health law and policy.

5. Communicate effectively in writing and orally in a manner consistent with conventions of the legal discipline.


The topics covered in this course include:

  1. Legal and ethical foundations of the Australian health care system
  2. Consent to and refusal of medical treatment
  3. Health care liability, negligence and patient safety
  4. Health care and criminal law
  5. Conception, birth, and reproductive technologies
  6. Mental health law
  7. Regulation of health practitioners
  8. Law and public health
  9. Health care information
  10. Research involving human participants
  11. End of life, right to health care


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Juris Doctor/ Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice or Master of Laws programs.

Assumed knowledge

For JD/GradDiploma in Legal Studies students

LAWS6001, LAWS6002A, LAWS6002B, LAWS6003A, LAWS6003B, LAWS6004A, LAWS6004B, LAWS6005.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Written assessment

In Term Test: Take home exam

Participation: Glass Participation

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term