Academic Integrity Officers

Dr Ruth Townsend

BN LLB LLM Dip Para Sci Grad Cert VET Grad Dip Legal Practice PhD

Senior Lecturer in Paramedicine/Paramedic Practice and Faculty Academic Integrity Officer
Building 1448 Room 237

Ruth Townsend is a lecturer in law, ethics and professionalism at Charles Sturt University. Ruth has most recently practised as a general senior legal officer for a large government institution.  Ruth has also practiced as in-house counsel on commercial law matters for the NSW government. Ruth has a special interest in administrative law and governance, having previously acted in the role of University Ombudsman. Ruth also has an interest in health law and ethics and is the co-editor and author of the text, ‘Applied Paramedic Law and Ethics’ as well as numerous other book chapters and published articles on areas of health and the law.  Ruth has a PhD in law from the ANU and has supervised a number of honours students on a range of different topics.

Ruth is an award winning lecturer who enjoys playing the piano – albeit badly – from time-to-time.

Honours supervision and research projects undertaken with students

  • Venkatraman, N (2013) Realising the Promise of Personalised Medicine through Race-Specific Genetic Patenting.
  • Beltran, A (2013) What's in a Gene? A comparative analysis of gene patent litigation in Australia and the United States.
  • Sullivan, (2013) Room for three parents? How and why Australia's assisted reproductive technology laws and parenting legislation will adapt to mitochondrial replacement therapy.
  • Taylor, J (2013) The Korea-US Free Trade Agreement: implications for human security and health.
  • Smit, J (2012) 'The sociological construction of mental health care: patient autonomy or tokenism?'
  • Hendry, S (2012) 'E-Health: implications for practice, patient privacy and care.'
  • Taylor, J (2012) 'Data exclusivity, Big Pharma and the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement: implications for public health policy.'
  • Vaughn, S (2012-13) 'Nurse practitioner led clinics and general practice: affordability and sustainability in healthcare delivery models' (ANUMS)
  • Josling, K (2012-13) 'Assisted Reproductive Therapy, Regulation and Health Practitioner's values' (ANUMS)
  • Fox, C (2011-12) 'Medical students' views on conscientious objection and physician assisted suicide'. (ANUMS)
  • Wu, Y (2011-12) 'Medical students' views on conscientious objection and abortion' (ANUMS)
  • Fewings, I.  (2010-11) 'Can you teach ethics to medical students?'(ANUMS)
  • Brown, C (2011) 'India, the pharmaceutical industry and intellectual property law.'
  • Scoins, D (2011) 'Health, the environment and international law: examination of the precautionary principle.'
  • Van der Rijt, T (2010) 'What are the key gaps and issues with the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement's operation in the context of pandemic influenzas?'
  • Ford, A (2010) 'Civil conscription and Medicare Select' (ANUMS)

Research interests

  • Law
  • Society
  • Politics
  • Health

Peer-reviewed journals

  • Friel, S, Hattersley, L and Townsend, R (2015) Trade and Access to Healthcare. AnnRevPublicHealth Vol 36.
  • Bradley, J, Townsend, R, Eburn, M (2015) Empowering paramedics under mental health legislation in the ACT. Australasian Journal of Paramedicine 12(4)
  • Arnold, B and Townsend, R (2015)' Workplace drug testing: a matter of procedure rather than privacy principles?' Privacy Law Bulletin Vol 12 No.10
  • Townsend, R, Huntingford, S and Hingley, P (2012) A trip to Kokoda. Medical Students Journal of Australia.
  • Townsend R, Klar D, Faunce T.(2011) What Makes a Real Man? Gender Norms and WA v AH. Journal of Law and Medicine 18: 478-497.
  • Townsend, R and Faunce, T (2011) Condliff v North Staffordshire Primary Care Trust : Relying on Human Rights to Improve Inequities in Privatised HealthCare— Implications for UK and Australian Health System Reforms . Journal of Law and Medicine. Vol 19 No 2.
  • Faunce, T and Townsend, R (2011) The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – challenges for domestic health and medicines policy. Medical Journal of Australia 194 (2) 83-86.
  • Faunce TA and Townsend, R (2011) Justins v The Queen. Assisted Suicide, Juries and the Discretion to Prosecute. Journal of Law and Medicine 18: 706-715.
  • Faunce TA, Townsend, R and Reardon K. (2010) Reducing injustice from recent legislation subsidising insurance and restricting civil liability. Journal of Law and Medicine. 15(5): 729-735
  • Townsend, R (2010) Book Review: Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics: A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies. Journal of American Medical Association (303:2416-2417).
  • Townsend R and Luck M (2009) Protective jurisdiction, patient autonomy and paramedics: the challenges of applying the NSW Mental Health Act. Journal of Emergency Primary Health Care. Vol 7 No.4.
  • Townsend R (2008) Public health policy, legal uncertainty and the standard of care in rural and remote communities. Journal of Law and Medicine; 15 (5) 693-703.
  • Townsend R and Giles D (2006)End of life decision and the NSW Guardianship Act: a square peg in a round hole? The law and clinical practice. Australian Health Law Bulletin Vol 15 No 1 September 2006.

Books and book chapters

  • Townsend, R (2015) - 'Law and the emergency setting' (3rd ed) in Textbook of Advanced Emergency and Trauma Care'. Edited by Curtis and Ramsden. Elsevier.
  • Townsend, R, Sofell, B and Grantham, H (forthcoming) Law and ethics in a clinical case in Principles for paramedic practice. Elsevier.
  • Townsend, R (2013) End of life decision making in paramedic practice in Applied law and ethics in paramedic practice.
  • Townsend, R (2013) The law and medication administration in paramedic practice in Applied law and ethics in paramedic practice.
  • Townsend, R (2013) The Australian Legal System in Applied law and ethics in paramedic practice.
  • Townsend, R and Luck, M (2013) Why is an understanding of law and ethics important for the professional development of paramedics? In Applied law and ethics in paramedic practice.
  • Luck, M, Steer, B and Townsend, R (2013) PRECARE: An ethical decision making model for paramedic practice in Applied law and ethics in paramedic practice
  • Townsend, R and Luck, M (editors) (2013) Applied law and ethics in paramedic practice. Elsevier.
  • Faunce, T and Townsend, R (2011) 'Advance care directives in Australia.' "Between Life and Death: Regulating Advance Directives. National and International Perspectives". edited by Stefania Negri, University of Salerno.
  • Townsend, R (2011) Chapter 9: Legal and Ethical Issues in Videbeck's Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing. Lippincott, Chatswood.
  • Townsend, R (2010) - 'Law and the emergency setting' (2nd ed) in Textbook of Advanced Emergency and Trauma Care'. Edited by Curtis and Ramsden. Elsevier.
  • Faunce TA and Townsend R (2010) "Health and Medicines Policies" in Kelsey J (ed) No Ordinary Deal :Unmasking the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement. Allen & Unwin Sydney pg 149-162. 735

Newspaper opinion editorial

  • Townsend R and Eburn, M, 'Professional Discipline for Registered Health Professionals: Lessons for Australian Paramedics' (2014) Vol 41 No 3 Response pp 41-43.
  • Eburn, M and Townsend, R (2014) Restricting paramedic practice – an issue of professional practice. Response, Paramedics Australasia. Vol. 41. No. 2 pp 33-35.
  • Eburn, M and Townsend, R (2014) Crossing the line – the law and ethics of  going beyond the wire. Response, Paramedics Australasia. Vol. 41, No. 1 pp 41-42.
  • Arnold, B, Townsend, R and Bonython, W (2014) Regulator silent on safety of Indian-made generic drugs. The Conversation. 19 March 2014.
  • Townsend, R (2013) When Trade Agreements threaten sovereignty: Australia beware. The Conversation 15 November 2013.
  • Townsend, R, Arnold, B and Bonython, W (2013) What Australia should do to ensure research integrity. The Conversation. 16 August 2013.
  • Townsend, R (2012) Doctors and patient's uneasy about new e-health records system. The Conversation 5 July 2012.
  • Townsend, R and Glasson, N (2011) Is political leadership a lost art? On-Line opinion 2 November 2011.
  • Townsend, R and Dalla –Pozza, D (2011) National security, private rights: should doctors identify would-be terrorists? The Conversation 17 June 2011.
  • Faunce, T and Townsend, R (2010) Hospital reform: reviewing the Tony and Kevin face-off Canberra Times, 26 March 2010.
  • Faunce, T and Townsend, R (2010) Danger and little democracy in new Trade Agreement with the US. Canberra Times, 17 March 2010.


  • ANU Medical School Dean's Excellence in Teaching Award (2012)
  • ANU Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching Award Nominee (2012)
  • ANU College of Law Excellence in Teaching Award Nominee (2012)
  • ANU Medical School Excellence in Teaching Award Nominee (2013)

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