Ethics and Law for the Health Professions

Ethics and Law for the Health Professions


By (author) Michael Lowe, By (author) Ian Kerridge, By (author) Cameron Stewart

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  • Publisher: Federation Press
  • Format: Paperback | 700 pages
  • Dimensions: 166mm x 238mm x 46mm | 1,338g
  • Publication date: 1 April 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Annandale, NSW
  • ISBN 10: 1862877300
  • ISBN 13: 9781862877306
  • Edition: 3, Revised
  • Edition statement: 3rd Revised edition
  • Sales rank: 46,703

Product description

Ethics and Law for the Health Professions is a cross-disciplinary medico-legal book whose previouseditions have been widely used in the medical world. This new 3rd edition is fully revised with all ethics and law topics updated to reflect recent developments. New chapters include dealing specifically with children, health care and the environment, infectious diseases, public health, and ethics and chronic disease. All law sections have been extensively re-visited by Dr Cameron Stewart. Its special features are its focus on a clinically relevant approach, and its recognition that health care professionals are often confronted by legal issues and ethical issues at the same time. Health professionals have to satisfy both, and their legal advisers need to be aware of the dilemmas this can present. This book is careful to distinguish between ethics and law. Its chapters take account of all the health professions, and their differing responsibilities, and cover a very wide range of the issues they face.

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Review quote

...this is a comprehensive, well-written text, structured in a way that will be appealing and accessible to health professionals and legal practitioners at all levels of experience and knowledge... The book will work equally well as a research tool or as a source of guidance for real problems in clinical settings...highly recommended for health professionals and the lawyers who advise them. - Law Institute Journal of Victoria, September 2009 The third edition of this scholarly textbook continues the good narrative that has attracted Australian health professionals and provides them with a thorough knowledge of the basic concepts, foundations and principles in medical ethics and law from an Australian perspective. The three highly respected authors paint a comprehensive picture of the Australian Healthcare system in 34 "hallmark" chapters over 895 pages. This third edition lives up to the reputation built by the earlier editions as a must-have key textbook for health professionals involved in health ethics and law in Australia. - The Quarterly, Vol 42 No 3, September 2009, The Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) Although the title of the book suggests that it is for health professionals the preface and the introduction also recommend it of equal value to lawyers. As a general reference resource for lawyers I would have to agree. The three authors are Australian with significant qualifications in the areas of law and medicine. ... Overall this is an excellent comprehensive treatment of many issues that confront health professionals in their daily practice. - ACT Law Society Newsletter, Ethos, March 2010 Reviews of previous editions: This is a highly accessible text which offers a comprehensive account of ethics for the health professsions. ... [It] makes an excellent reference text for students ... - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, Vol 2 No 3 The three authors are extensively qualified in medical ethics and and the interrelationship between medicine and the law ... This excellent work travereses a huge territory from ethical theories through legal principles, standards of care, capacity, consent, confidentiality, non-treatment orders, mental illness ... and many other medical areas where ethics and law are intertwined. The structure is a general discussion of examples with tables of distilled procedural advice aimed at clarifying issues, to lead to ethical decision-making. The tables serve their purpose well in focussing attention on relevant principles to reach conclusions with the confidence to take responsibility for the decision. There are examples of relevant legal cases with passages from judgments as well as ethical analyses. In looking at problems several approaches are identiified and described. For example, in a case study about people with a mental illness, the psychiatric diagnosis, the psycho-social model, the biopsychosocial model and the medical model are decribed in detail. This way readers can understand the complexity of some cases and the differing, yet quite acceptable, approaches taken by different professionals. Although the book is targeted at health care professionals, it would be a valuable addition to all legal practices as it covers all aspects of medical treatment and decision making from before conception to old age and, ultimately, death. - Law Institute Journal (Vic), September 2005 We believe this is an exceptionally good book, which should be of great interest and value to practitioners and students in the health professions. [The authors intend the book] to be a primary teaching resource in bioethics and health law. They want it to be useable across the broad range of people working in health professions, whose requirements and approaches to ethical quandaries can vary so much. They aim to 'draw a clear line between ethical principles and the principles of law', recognizing the frequent confusion when both are involved. They have attempted to emphasize empirical research, where possible, not because such research resolves ethical issues, but because it provides insight into how we deal with them and may suggest new ways of approaching them. These aims are met, and much more. ... The book is comprehensive. The introductory chapters are concise but clear, and are informative... Extensive coverage is given to major controversial areas such as euthanasia, assisted reproductive technology and abortion. In the true spirit of ethical discourse, alternative arguments are presented without bias. ... The authors have extensively revised and added to the previous edition. The writing is uniformly lucid and direct. ... Neither of us can remember being so effusive before in a book review. The importance of the subject and the quality of the book would justify it being a set text for medical and nursing students. It should be widely available in consulting rooms, medical and general libraries and in children's wards of hospitals. ... it is also remarkably good value for money. - Assoc Prof Henry Kilham and Prof David Isaacs (The Children's Hospital at Westmead), Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, Vol 41:9-10, Sep/Oct 2005 This book is not just written for health professionals although I am sure that they would benefit enormously from reading it. I suspect that most lawyers would gain a great deal from its study. It is an extremely well presented and considered analysis of such topics as living wills, abortion, euthanasia, consent (including two chapters which look at Rogers v Whittaker), right to life, aboriginal health and customs, privacy, medical notes, organ donation and a host of other contemporary medico legal issues. The book examines the legal moral and ethical positions in relation to issues and demonstrates how at times these compete with one another and how perceptions change according to the perspective of the people involved. Each Chapter commences with one or two practical examples which focus one's mind, instantly, on the subject to be covered in that chapter. These examples give the impression of being realistic, rather than made up for the occasion. Where necessary, the authors have identified the relevant legislation of the States (including Tasmania I am pleased to say) and have referred to cases decided in Australia and overseas). Perhaps if the book had been intended for lawyers, there might have been a greater legal analysis than has occurred, but, given the length of the book and the number of subjects covered, I found the depth of discussion of the legal issues quite adequate to give me a pointer as to where to go, if I wanted to conduct further research. This is the second edition of a most useful book and I highly recommend it to all lawyers and those who work in the medical field. I commend the authors for their success in treating a large number of emotive topics with sensitivity, understanding and objectivity. By using practical examples they have demonstrated the view points of the various professionals, including nurses, doctors, lawyers etc, who might be called on to provide advice on whether life support should be turned off, whether the wishes of the patient not to be resuscitated should be obeyed, whether a blood transfusion should be given to a person whose religious beliefs prohibit it and a large number of other legal, ethical and moral dilemmas that may be faced by health professionals. - BJM, Law Society Tasmania Newsletter In 1979, the American authors Tom L Beauchamp and James F Childress published the first edition of Principles of Biomedical Ethics. They espoused the theory of what has come to be known as "principlism" as a bridge between the deontological and utilitarian approaches to bioethics. They identified four central values - autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice - as the fundamental moral principles in terms of which to address ethical dilemmas in biomedical theory and practice. Since 1979, Principles of Biomedical Ethics has gone through five editions, and has become a virtually magisterial text, at least in the English speaking world. Ethics and Law for the Health Professions bids fair to become equally magisterial in the Australian context. Now in its second edition, it too espoused the principlist approach to bioethical issues, but, like its American counterpart, it acknowledges also the significance of other subsidiary values - professional integrity, veracity, confidentiality, privacy and fiduciary responsibility - to mention but a few. Ethics and Law for the Health Professions professes to be an introductory text in bioethics and law. It can be used as a teaching resource or as a handbook. It is both comprehensive and detailed, and although the average length of each of its thirty-one chapters is only twenty pages, there is sufficient substance in each chapter both to outline the issues involved and to point towards a resolution. Not everyone - including this reviewer - will agree with all the resolutions. A liberal individualist view of autonomy and a utilitarian assessment of beneficence tend to hold sway, but other perspectives are carefully examined, and a fair and very up-to- date selection of references is appended to the end of each chapter. What is particularly to be commended is the structure of the text. The separation of ethics and law in each chapter underlines a very important distinction when addressing these issues. Otherwise the legal decisions can be accepted as putting an end to ethical debate. Further, the "hot" topics of euthanasia, abortion, IVF, stem cell research, etc., are addressed in the latter third of the book, and to this degree need to be seen against the general ethical and legal theories which are discussed in the first third, and the "procedural" values - veracity, confidentiality, professionalism, etc. - which occupy the middle chapters. There are special chapters on various classes of patients: the elderly; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders; and those suffering from mental illness and post-coma unresponsiveness and the authors do not resile from presenting strong challenges to contemporary ethical practice, especially in the chapters on organ donation and brain death, experimentation in animals, resource allocation, complementary and alternative medicine and the pharmaceutical industry. In all, this is an excellent text, and I am sure, like its American counterpart, it will go through many editions. - William J Uren SJ, Australian Health Review, Vol 29 No 3, August 2005

Table of contents

ContentsPreface Introduction 1 What is Ethics? 2 Ethical Theories and Concepts 3 Relativism and Pluralism 4 Introduction to Law5 Introduction to Principle-Based Ethics 6 Clinical Ethics and Ethical Decision-Making 7 Professionalism and Standards of Care 8 Standards of Care, Errors and Negligence9 The Student in the Health-Care Environment 10 Nursing 11 Truth-Telling (Veracity) 12 Confidentiality and Record-Keeping 13 Impairments of Decision-Making Capacity 14 Consent 15 Treatment and Non-Treatment Issues: The Limits of Medical Care 16 CPR and No-CPR Orders 17 Genetics 18 Sexuality and Reproduction 19 Abortion 20 Children 21 People with Mental Illness 22 Ethics and Chronic Disease 23 The Elderly 24 Post-Coma Unresponsiveness and Brain Death 25 Organ Donation and Transplantation 26 Euthanasia 27 Public Health 28 Infectious Diseases 29 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 30 Resource Allocation and International Health 31 Biomedical Research 32 Health Care and the Environment 33 Complementary and Alternative Medicine 34 The Pharmaceutical Industry Index