Ethics and Law for Australian Nurses

Author(s): Kim Atkins (University of Tasmania)


The third edition of Ethics and Law for Australian Nurses develops an innovative practical framework for understanding the ethical and legal dimensions of nursing practice in Australia. Taking a 'relational' approach to practice, the text foregrounds the concepts of personhood, vulnerability and the nurse-patient relationship as the source of a nurse's moral and legal obligations. This approach is central to the book's discussion of key ethical and legal concepts throughout the text including consent and autonomy, negligence and liability, confidentiality and trust, and culturally safe practice. This edition has been thoroughly revised to include the latest research and methods, updated legislation and links to professional documentation, along with a new chapter on aged care. Student learning is supported by case studies, legal case extracts and learning exercises. A new instructor companion website features a curated suite of multimedia resources and extension questions.


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Kim Atkins is Adjunct Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tasmania, and Manager of the Rural Health Program in the Department of Health and Human Services 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. Kim completed a Ph.D. in philosophy and taught in the Faculty of Arts at Macquarie University. She went on to teach philosophy and ethics in the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Nursing programs at the University of Wollongong, New South Wales and the University of Tasmania. She also runs workshops on values in the workplace, and teaches in the Tasmanian Government's Public Sector Strategic Management Course. Kim is the author of Narrative Identity and Moral Identity: A Practical Perspective (2008), and co-editor of Practical Identity and Narrative Agency (2013). Sheryl de Lacey is Professor of Nursing at Flinders University of South Australia. She has considerable clinical experience in Intensive Care and Cardiac Care, and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Nursing. Sheryl 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. Sheryl 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. She is currently a member of the SA Ethics Health Advisory Council. She was a member of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of South Australia and is currently a member of the South Australian Health Professional Tribunal. She is a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Embryo Licensing Committee and a member of the NHMRC Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Review Committee. 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. 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 Justice. In line with her interest in promoting equity of access to the justice system, Rebecca has developed and coordinated the 'Culture of Inclusion' program, 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. Bonnie Britton undertook a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Ph.D. studies at the University of Tasmania. She has been a tutor in the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Nursing programs at the University of Tasmania for several years.

1. Understanding the human person; 2. Understanding legal rights and obligations; 3. Nursing and the legal system; 4. The nursing-patient relationship and the regulation of nursing practice; 5. Consent; 6. Duty of care and professional negligence; 7. Culturally safe nursing practice; 8. Patient information and confidentiality; 9. 'Trust me, I'm a nurse'; 10. Witnessing and making mistakes; 11. Issues in abortion and euthanasia; 12. Ethics of aged care: autonomy under threat. The nurse as capacity builder.

General Fields

  • : 9781316631263
  • : Cambridge University Press
  • : Cambridge University Press
  • : September 2017
  • : 228mm X 152mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Kim Atkins (University of Tasmania)
  • : Paperback
  • : 3rd Revised edition
  • : 174.290730994
  • : 280
  • : 3 b/w illus. 10 tables