LWS101-Ethics, Law and Healthcare – Law Assignment Help

Assignment Task


Ethics, Law and Healthcare 

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Megan is a registered nurse who has just started working in East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory (she is not Indigenous). Once a fortnight she is to visit a remote homeland community to facilitate a telemedicine clinic run by medical staff from a central location, with Sue, an Aboriginal Health Worker. On this visit one of the patients is Tom, a 63 year old Yolngu man. English is his fourth language. He has lived on country all his life in a community which has strong continuing traditions. On this visit he comes to the clinic by himself, as his large multi-generational family are gathering seasonal bush foods. 

Doctors tell Tom over the telemedicine link that they have discovered a tumour in his leg, they need to amputate it and he will require chemotherapy for a period after the surgery, and that the chemotherapy will make him sicker for a period of time but hopefully will kill the cancer cells. They tell him none of these services can be provided on country so he will have to travel to a large centre for extended periods for treatment. Tom nods and says nothing. The doctor instructs Megan to ensure that the consent form is completed by Tom and the plane would arrive to transport him for surgery within three hours, as they were picking up patients in the region that day. His surgery would not occur for another ten days. Sue is not present at this consultation.
Apply the ethical and legal decision-making framework to this scenario

Identify issues and collect information
1.2 Issues
• Is it ethical for Megan to obtain Tom’s consent and transfer him within three hours? 

Legal Principles
• Not yet covered
• Law requires informed consent
• Provide relevant information about the procedures, its risks and benefits in a way the patient can understand
• Competent adult can consent or refuse consent to treatment
• Information can be discussed with persons other than the patient with the patient’s consent.

Action – What to do in practice
NMBA Code of Conduct for Nurses sets out the legal requirements, professional behaviour and conduct expectations for nurses in all practice settings. There are seven principles:
1. Legal compliance
2. Person-centred practice
3. Cultural practice and respectful relationships
4. Professional behaviour
5. Teaching, supervising and assessing
6. Research in health
7. Health and well-being

Code of Conduct for Nurses
Principle 3 – Cultural practice and respectful relationships
Principle 3.1 Australia has always been a culturally and linguistically diverse nation.
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples have inhabited and cared for the land as the first peoples of Australia for millennia, and their histories and cultures have uniquely shaped our nation. Understanding and acknowledging historic factors such as colonisation and its impact on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health helps inform care. In particular, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples’ bear the burden of gross social, cultural and health inequality. 

Principle 3.1 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health
In supporting the health of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, nurses must:

  • provide care that is holistic, free of bias and racism, challenges belief based upon assumption and is culturally safe and respectful for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait
  • Islander peoples
  • Advocate for and act to facilitate access to quality and culturally safe health services for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, and
  • Recognise the importance of family, community, partnership and collaboration in the healthcare, decision-making of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, for both prevention strategies and care delivery.

Principle 3.2 Culturally safe and respectful practice Nurses must:
• Understand that only the person and/or their family can determine whether or not care is culturally safe and respectful
• Respect diverse cultures, beliefs and experiences of people.
• Acknowledge the social, economic, cultural factors influencing health both at individual, community and population levels
• Respect diversity, avoid bias, discrimination and racism.
• Support an inclusive environment for the safety and security of the individual person and their family and/or significant others
• Create a positive, culturally safe work environment supporting the rights, dignity and safety of others.

• How will you plan to manage the foreseeable consequences?
• Document
• Brief Sue and ask her to facilitate
• Advise doctors of the delay
• Organise interpreter
• Facilitate access and privacy should Tom require a traditional healer

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