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Title: Emergency Law
Contributor(s): Eburn, Michael E (author)
Publication Date: 1999
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Abstract: Megan Jane-Johnston, in her book 'Nursing and the Injustices of the Law', argues (if I understand her correctly) that one indicator that will show that nurses are being recognised as professionals in their own right is when they are being sued independently, for their own decisions. At the moment the liability of nurses is subsumed into the liability of doctors or health care institutions. She argues that nurses will have made it, in the eyes of the law, when they are accountable as independent health professionals. This may also be true for those engaged in pre-hospital care. The move from mere technician to clinician may mean that you are more independent, more able to make your own decisions about the patient's condition and necessary treatment, but with this professional freedom comes the fact that you may be asked, in a court of law, to account for your personal decisions. On the other hand, if the law fails to recognise the clinical skills of the paramedic then the law may well hamper the move from 'technician to clinician' by reinforcing the notion that ambulance officers are merely stretcher bearers, or 'ambulance drivers'. There is however a complete absence of cases where those providing pre hospital care have been sued in Australia (or in fact the world). Today I will look at some factors that may explain why it is that paramedics (using that word in the broad sense intended by the conference organisers) are not appearing as defendants before the courts.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Name: Institute of Ambulance Officers (Australia) National Conference, Sydney, Australia, 14th October, 1999
Source of Publication: Presented at the Institute of Ambulance Officers (Australia) National Conference
Field of Research (FOR): 180199 Law not elsewhere classified
180126 Tort Law
HERDC Category Description: E2 Non-Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
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