University of Technology Sydney

96829 Legal Dimensions of Palliative Care

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 3 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks


In this subject, students develop their understanding of the law in relation to person-centred care across populations in palliative care. This subject support students in becoming creative, inquiring, and responsive health professionals who continuously and critically analyse and reflect on their roles, making appropriate adaptations.

Students analyse legal principles relevant to care-related decision-making and provision in palliative and end of life contexts and are able to locate legal information and services relevant to their jurisdiction.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Describe legal principles relevant to decision-making and provision of care in palliative and end of life contexts.
B. Appraise legal principles relevant to palliative and end of life decision-making within the context of patient capacity and preference.
C. Examine the personal and professional dimensions of practice as they interact with and uphold legal imperatives to facilitate optimal palliative and end of life care.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Integrate the delivery of person-centred care across all populations, settings and systems (1.0)
  • Create adaptive professionals who continuously analyse, critique and reflect on their role (5.0)

Teaching and learning strategies

The subject is delivered exclusively online, enabling students to participate remotely. Students are actively engaged in enquiry-based learning through a range of multimedia interactive activities, including those involving collaboration with others. The online learning platform ‘Canvas’ is used for all subject materials and announcements.

Assessment activities include an individual written task and participation on discussion boards, quizzes and one video conference. Participation in discussions also presents opportunities for feedback from tutors and other students.

Online Modules
Learning content is delivered through structured online modules that equip students to be adaptive health professionals in palliative care.

Content (topics)

Subject content will include the following:

  • Identifying, describing and applying relevant legal knowledge to inform clinical decision-making and ethical deliberation in palliative and end of life contexts.
  • Understanding legal rights to plan for future incapacity and the end of life, including advance care planning.
  • Supporting patient decision-making when capacity is in question.
  • Identifying and responding to patients’ legal needs, including being aware of sources of legal information and referral pathways.
  • Understanding health professionals’ legal responsibilities and rights in relation to voluntary assisted dying.


Assessment task 1: Advance planning from preparation to implementation


To help students identify and apply legal considerations relevant to the process of advance planning and implementing plans in situations of serious and/or terminal illness.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B and C

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0 and 5.0

Weight: 60%

1500 words

Assessment task 2: Participation in reflection and discussion activities


To support students to reflect on and exchange their views and experiences of how the law impacts the provision of palliative and end of life care.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B and C

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):


Weight: 40%

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10

Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:

For other resources/ information refer to the Faculty of Health website ( and Canvas at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, health literature databases, workshops and bookable study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with your questions available via online chat, phone and in person. W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666.

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733.

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.

The Accessibility and Financial Assistance Service
The Accessibility Service can support students with disabilities, medical or mental health conditions, including temporary injuries (e.g., broken limbs). The Accessibility Service works with Academic Liaison Officers in each Faculty to provide ‘reasonable adjustments’ such as exam provisions, assistive technology, requests and strategies for managing your studies alongside your health condition. If you’re unsure whether you need assistance, we recommend getting in touch early and we can provide advice on how our service can assist you. Make an appointment with an Accessibility Consultant (AC) on +61 2 9514 1177 or

The Financial Assistance Service can assist you with financial aspects of life at university, including Centrelink information, tax returns and budgeting, interest-free student loans and grants to assist with course-related costs. Check eligibility and apply online and make an appointment on +61 2 9514 1177 or