A paramedic registered in Australia must be professional and ethical and must practice with professional autonomy and accountability within current medico-legal frameworks. This unit (HFB1003) will introduce students to the ethical and professional attributes which underpin good paramedic practice. By engaging in problem-based learning, students will form and understanding of the four key bioethical principles of non-maleficence, beneficence, respect for autonomy and justice, and navigate ethical dilemmas by applying an ethical decision-making framework. Students will develop knowledge and understanding about important health care themes such as ethical theories; professional skills such as communication, leadership, teamwork, decision making and situational awareness; consent and advocacy; torts, negligence and duty of care; end-of-life care; working with vulnerable patients; ethical and legal use of medicines; and privacy, confidentiality and record keeping.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Define and apply medical terminology appropriately;  
  2. Discuss ethical concepts pertaining to the delivery of competent and ethical health care;  
  3. Locate and discuss the governance and medico-legal frameworks that relate to paramedic practice;  
  4. Exemplify the professional skills and attributes required of a paramedic including communication, teamwork, leadership, situational awareness and decision making; and  
  5. Apply an ethical decision-making framework to navigate an out-of-hospital ethical dilemma.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test 3 x MCQ Quizzes (10 mins each) 20%
Other Virtual Simulated Patient Resource Modules (7 x online simulation exercises) 10%
Assignment Group assignment – Ethical dilemma (problem solving exercise, peer review and feedback, and group reflection) 40%
Case Study Case Based Theory Assessment (45 minutes) 30%

Required reading

Applied paramedic law, ethics and professionalism: Australia and New Zealand 2nd ed.
Townsend, R., & Luck, M. (2020)
Chatswood, NSW Elsevier Australia

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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