Skip navigation

Do codes of ethics and position statements help guide ethical decision making in Australian immigration detention centres?

Do codes of ethics and position statements help guide ethical decision making in Australian immigration detention centres?

Essex, Ryan ORCID: 0000-0003-3497-3137 (2019) Do codes of ethics and position statements help guide ethical decision making in Australian immigration detention centres? BMC Medical Ethics, 20:52. ISSN 1472-6939 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12910-019-0392-8)

[img]
Preview
PDF (Publisher's PDF - Open Access)
24912 ESSEX_Ethics_Position_Statements_Help_Ethical_Decision_Australian_Immigration_(OA)_2019.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (429kB) | Preview

Abstract

Australian immigration detention has been called state sanctioned abuse and a crime against humanity. The Australian healthcare community has been closely involved with these policies, calling for their reform and working within detention centres to provide healthcare. As well as having a devastating impact on health, immigration detention changes the scope and nature of healthcare, with its delivery described as a Sisyphean task. In this article I will explore the guidance that is available to clinicians who work within detention centres and argue that codes, guidelines and positions statements provide little help in relation to ethical decision making. First I will outline guidance that can be found in codes of ethics and position statements, focusing on particularly relevant principles, such as advocacy, clinical independence and the clinicians’ relationship to human rights. I will then highlight the disparity between this guidance and the delivery of healthcare within detention by drawing on the testimony of clinicians who formerly worked in these environments. While this disparity should be cause for alarm and at a minimum call into question how codes and positions statements are being used (if at all), there are more fundamental reasons why codes and position statements fail to provide guidance in these circumstances. I will outline a more general criticism of codes of ethics and use this to suggest a way forward, including looking beyond codes and position statements to guide action within Australian immigration detention.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: refugee, ethics, clinical ethics, codes of ethics, immigration detention
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Adult Nursing & Paramedic Science
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2019 09:50
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/24912

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics