The Federation Press

Allied Health Professionals and the Law


News: this book has been included as one of the texts for the National Psychology Examination - Curriculum Domains 1 (Ethics) and 4 (Communication), developed by the Psychology Board of Australia.

This book targets a wide range of allied health professions. The list, while not exhaustive, embraces occupational therapy, podiatry, Chinese medicine, complementary medicine, nuclear medicine, speech pathology, radiography, physiotherapy, psychology, osteopathy, chiropractic care and optometry.

The authors explain the legal context in which these professions function, the various forms of legal regulation which apply to them, their legal liabilities, and legal imperatives which bear upon their practice.

Also included is commentary on the limits and ambiguities of law in relation to allied health activity, the interaction between law and professional ethics, and some significant legal challenges in normal professional life. Allied Health Professionals and the Law expands the legal knowledge of allied health readers whether they are practitioners seeking to understand the legal aspects of their work or researchers engaged in analysis of professional matters which have legal dimensions and implications.


the authors have contributed an eminently readable, informative and intensely practical collection of essays on various relevant topics within their disciplines, and in doing so will surely earn the gratitude of health professionals in giving them considerable access to legal matters of practical importance which might otherwise be difficult to ’track down’.
Great effort and research have combined to produce a handy reference work which is likely to become an enduring byword for accuracy and easy accessibility. - Australian Psychological Society, September 2009 will find it is a useful summary of the law as it applies in this area with recent cases and legislation referenced throughout. As an allied health professional, seeking to increase your awareness of legal liability, then this is an easy to read and insightful book containing a comprehensive summary. It fills a gap in the area of medical and health law books by concentrating on allied and complementary health professionals. - Law Society of Tasmania, Law Letter, Issue 103, Autumn 2009

Experts in health and medical law have contributed chapters to this important volume which provides a good overview for practitioners in the area. It deals with the Australian legal system and its relationship with health and medical law, ethics and the regulation of health and allied health practitioners in Australia...
Practical advice is also given on legal procedures such as compliance with subpoenas. Health practitioners need to carefully balance compliance with the law with patients’ rights to doctor-patient confidentiality. This balancing act is canvassed in this book.
As this book is intended for nationwide use, information and references to relevant legislation are provided for each jurisdiction, although not in detail. As a resource of limited size, issues are only touched on and practitioners should use this book as a starting point for further, more detailed, research. - Law Institute Journal of Victoria, June 2009

Table of Contents

Part 1 - Law and the Context of Practice

Rosemary Kennedy
The Australian legal system
Allied health professions, professionalism, ethics and law
Cameron Stewart
The health service delivery context
Peter McFarlane
Occupational regulation of health practitioners in Australia
Anne-Louise Carlton

Part 2 - Accountable Service Delivery and the Law

Decision-making and consent
Clare Delany
Confidentiality, privacy and health information management
Marilyn McMahon
Intervention methods and processes
Michael Weir

Part 3 - Adverse Service Delivery and the Law

Legal risks of unprofessional behaviour
Beth Wilson
Reporting own and other’s conduct
Cameron Stewart

Part 4 - Law and Professional Life
Working for others or as a private practitioner?
Trevor Goddard and Marina Ciccarelli
Writing reports and giving evidence in court
Andrew Day
Maintaining professional competence
Joshua Burns

Of interest...