LAWS 7008 Bioethics

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 200957

Coordinator Patrick Foong Opens in new window

Description This subject explores a range of ethical and legal issues in public health, biomedical research, biotechnology and medical practice. Topics covered include the nature of moral thinking, issues of life and death, experimentation and research involving human subjects, genetic technology, new reproductive technologies, consent and confidentiality.

School Law

Discipline Law, Not Elsewhere Classified.

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Equivalent Subjects LGYA 4912 - Bioethics

Incompatible Subjects JUST 2002 - Bioethics


Students must be enrolled in 8083 Bachelor of Research Studies,  2824 Master of Laws or 2826 Juris Doctor.

Assumed Knowledge

Bachelor of Laws or equivalent qualification.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Evaluate ethical concepts, principles and theories that arise in debates concerning the applications of biomedical and biotechnological developments from different international and local contexts and perspectives.

2. Assess the causes, consequences and problems of contemporary patterns of health and illness, health inequalities, healthcare provision and biomedical research.

3. Critically apply relevant ethical and legal ideas to practical biotechnological problem situations, biomedical law reform and legal issues raised by recent developments in biotechnology.

4. Present clear evidenced-based arguments in support of own ethical position and values.

Subject Content

  1. Introduction to bioethics law
  2. Medical and health ethics and law
  3. Health and medical research
  4. Biotechnology: Cloning and stem cell research
  5. Genetic technology
  6. Assisted reproductive technology (ART)
  7. Consent, confidentiality and privacy
  8. Surrogacy
  9. Euthanasia


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Oral Presentation 20 minutes 30 N Individual
Research Proposal 1000 words 25 N Individual
Research Report 4000 words 45 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Ben White, Fiona McDonald and Lindy Willmott, Health Law in Australia (Thomson Reuters, 3rd ed, 2018). ISBN: 9780455238753.

Teaching Periods


Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Patrick Foong Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window