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PMC3000 Ethics, Law and Culture for Healthcare Professionals

Semester 1, 2022 Ipswich On-campus
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Health and Medical Sciences
Student contribution band : Band 2
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 27 June 2022


Examiner: John Latham


Pre-requisite: PMC1101
OR (from 2023)
Pre-requisite: PMC1101 and PMC1110 and PMC2211 and Students must be enrolled in the following Program: BPSC


PMC3000 addresses key principles of healthcare in relation to providing ethical, legal and culturally appropriate care. Paramedic practice presents some unique challenges to providing appropriate patient-centred care. Making ethical decisions that demonstrate an understanding of the law and are culturally appropriate are fundamental to the role of a paramedic. Content in this course builds on foundational clinical reasoning to achieve improved patient outcomes in clinical practice.

This course will contextualise how ethics, laws and culture impact on contemporary paramedic practice. The evolution of healthcare from a paramedic practice perspective will be examined. An understanding of bioethics and how ethical decisions can be made within healthcare will be explored. Students will have the opportunity to develop their understanding of the legal responsibilities associated with providing care. Students will further develop their understanding of caring for vulnerable populations. Students will examine relevant codes of conduct, competency standards and professional registration. This course also focuses on cultural safety with an emphasis on the importance of cultural awareness and respect, in the delivery of healthcare to individuals and communities.

Course learning outcomes

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

  1. Develop an understanding of the value of ethical practice in healthcare
  2. Formulate a broad understanding of the Australian legal system as it pertains to paramedic practice
  3. Determine key requirements of the law in relation to providing appropriate patient-centred care
  4. Examine cultural safety and healthcare practice from a historical and contemporary perspective for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures
  5. Analyse the importance of cultural awareness and respecting cultural identity in the delivery of healthcare of individuals and communities.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Culture and Health care
Cultural awareness
Cultural safety
2. Ethics and health care
3. Law and health care
Duty of care
Capacity and Consent
Vulnerable populations and mandatory reporting
Codes of Conduct, Competency Standards & Registration

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

Townsend, R and Luck, M 2019, Applied paramedic law, ethics and professionalism, 2nd edn, Churchill Livingstone, NSW.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Written Quiz No 20 2,3
Assignments Written Case Study No 30 1,2,3
Examinations Non-invigilated Time limited online examinatn No 50 1,2,3,4,5
Date printed 27 June 2022