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Bioethics, law and society

Influence of law on clinical practice and policy
This short course will examine the areas of law that have particular significance for bioethics and society including regulation, influence and its limitations.

Course overview

This course will introduce the intersection between healthcare, ethics and the law. The moral basis of the law and how it influences moral norms, clinical practice and health policy will be explored.

Participants will critically read and analyse primary sources of law relevant to bioethics. You will examine a number of areas of law that have particular significance for bioethics and society including: consent, tort law, competence, advance directives, maternal-foetal conflicts, abortion, reproduction, end-of-life-decision-making, genetics and infectious disease. 

Questions covered in this short course include:

  • What is the law and how does it relate to bioethics?
  • How does the law regulate medicine and healthcare?
  • What ethical positions are taken by the law on key contentious issues in biomedicine?
  • Can the law do more to help bioethics?
  • What are the limits of the legal paradigm in resolving ethical quandaries?

Important: This short course is a variant of the unit of study, Bioethics, Law and Society (BETH5104). It enables you to complete the unit without formal university enrolment. You will receive a certificate of completion, however, you will not receive credit points towards a University of Sydney degree.

To receive credit points and an academic transcript, please see the Medicine Postgraduate Non Award

Key information
Course fees
  • $1,100 (incl. GST)
  • 10% discount for groups of three or more participants from the same institution or organisation
Course structure
  • 4-day face-to-face intensive, or 
  • 26 hours self-guided online learning
Application deadline Thursday 27th February 2020
  • Thursday 5th March 2020
  • Friday 6th March 2020
  • Monday 20th April 2020
  • Tuesday 21st April 2020

How to apply


Complete the online application. You will be able to enter payment details as part of this secure process.

Groups (three or more)

Complete the group application form (pdf, 57.7KB) and submit it to

University of Sydney staff

Contact us regarding a journal transfer after you have submitted your application form.

Group application form

Download PDF


  • Education Support Office, Level 3, Edward Ford Building (A27), The University of Sydney, NSW 2006 Australia