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Ethics and Law for Australian Nurses


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Table of Contents

1. Understanding the human person; 2. The legal system; 3. The nurse-patient relationship and the regulation of nursing practice; 4. Consent; 5. Duty of care and professional negligence; 6. Culturally safe nursing practice; 7. Patient information and confidentiality; 8. 'Trust me, I'm a nurse'; 9. Witnessing and making mistakes; 10. Issues in abortion and euthanasia; 11. Ethics of aged care: autonomy under threat. The nurse as capacity builder.

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Ethics and Law for Australian Nurses provides a practical framework for understanding the ethical and legal dimensions of nursing practice.

About the Author

Kim Atkins is Adjunct Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tasmania, and a senior manager in the Department of Health in Tasmania. She became a registered nurse in 1985 and specialised in intensive care nursing for over twenty years. She has nursed in hospitals and health care facilities in New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Tasmania. Atkins completed a Ph.D. in philosophy and taught at Macquarie University, Sydney. She went on to teach philosophy and ethics in the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Nursing programmes at the University of Wollongong and the University of Tasmania. She also runs workshops on values in the workplace and on having difficult conversations. Atkins is the author of Narrative Identity and Moral Identity: A Practical Perspective (2008), and co-editor of Practical Identity and Narrative Agency (with Catriona Mackenzie, 2007). Sheryl de Lacey is Professor of Nursing (Adjunct) at Flinders University of South Australia and a Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing. She has considerable clinical experience in Intensive Care, Cardiac Care, and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Nursing. de Lacey completed a Ph.D. in Nursing and was awarded an Australian Clinical Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council to conduct a bioethical study in the Research Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Adelaide. She has a sustained background in consultancy and advisory roles to National and State Government bodies concerned with developing policy or ethical guidelines to regulate practice. de Lacey is currently a member of the NHMRC Embryo Licensing Committee and a member of the NHMRC Emerging Technologies working party. She is a member of the Health Professional Tribunal in South Australia and was previously a member of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of South Australia. She is an expert member and Deputy Committee Chair of Bellberry Ltd. Bernhard Ripperger has worked as a government lawyer in the New South Wales public sector for over twenty years. He is currently the Director of Public Law and Community Protection in the New South Wales Department of Communities and Justice. In addition to law, he has an honours degree in Philosophy and has taught philosophy at Macquarie University, Sydney and the University of Wollongong. He is currently completing a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Macquarie University. Rebecca Ripperger has a B.A. (Honours) majoring in philosophy and has worked as a tutor and research assistant in moral and social philosophy at Macquarie University, Sydney. She became a registered nurse in 1983 and worked in the New South Wales hospital system for over twenty years. For the last twelve years, she has worked in the New South Wales public service in the area of guardianship, initially in the Department of Ageing Disability and Home Care and later in the Department of Communities and Justice. In line with her interest in promoting equity of access to the justice system, Rebecca has developed and co-ordinated the 'Culture of Inclusion' programme, working in partnership with Arts NSW. This training initiative showcases projects that successfully support people with disabilities, including those with dementia, to develop their skills and abilities to engage actively and creatively in the world.

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