Legal Issues in Healthcare: Medical Negligence


This module discusses the law of negligence in health care. The laws governing medical negligence have evolved over time and continue to be substantially common law although legislation has been introduced in states and territories that relate to the law of negligence.

This module explains what negligence is and the legal standard of care required when delivering health care services. Case law is used to explain the issues discussed to illustrate the application of the law in client service provision.

This module is aimed at anyone providing health care services to clients and is intended to provide an insight into the law of negligence as it relates to the provision of health services by health care practitioners in Australia.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Describe what negligence is.
  • Describe what the legal definition of duty of care is and how it applies to health care.
  • Understand the standard of care required when providing treatment and when providing information.
  • Gain an insight into claims of negligence in health care in Australia.
  • Understand how civil liability legislation may have influenced the law of negligence and liability.
  • Know the main defences available in a claim of negligence.

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