LAWS2220 Birth, Life, Death and the Law

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Law and Society; Humanities in Health and Medicine; Criminology major sequences
  • The area of knowledge for this unit are Life and Health Sciences, Society and Culture
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
This unit examines the interaction of the legal system with issues relating to health care, medical research and medical technology. It explores the impact of social, economic, ethical and political influences on the law, and in particular how the law incorporates and responds to these influences. The unit is concerned with how society regulates sensitive and controversial issues associated health care and medical science, and examines how the law interacts with other regulatory methods in relation to these issues. It examines the legal understanding of human bodies, rights and duties associated with health care treatment, and decision-making associated with reproduction and dying.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of specific concepts associated with health care and the law; (2) apply selected and critical theories to real and hypothetical situations arising in medial science and health care; (3) demonstrate an appreciation of the interaction of legal regulatory frameworks with social, ethical, economic, political and cultural influences on issues in health care; (4) demonstrate an understanding of the different forms of legal regulation and the process of legal change in connection with issues in health care and medical science; and (5) apply skills of critical analysis, written communication and interactive discussion in connection with the topics covered in the unit.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) participation; (2) law reform commission exercise; and (3) an examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Lecturer Aidan Ricciardo
Unit rules
LAWS1104 Introduction to Law
LAWS1111 Law, Conflict and Change (formerly LAWS1111 Legal Systems)
LAWS1120 Australian Legal Principles and Institutions
LAWS1110 Crime and Society
Contact hours
3 hours per week
Students may also take this unit if they have acquired the equivalent skills in other Level 1 units.

Sonia Allan and Meredith Blake, 'The Patient and the Practitioner: Health Law and Ethics in Australia' (Lexis Nexis, 2014)

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.