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Ethical Issues in Healthcare Seminar

  • : Melbourne VIC 3004

2 Day Seminar for all Health Professionals


As health professionals, every day and in every situation, we try and make the right decisions. We strive to and even pride ourselves on behaving in the right way. Most of us would argue that we intrinsically act in an ethical as well as professional manner. But, although intuition is involved, it is not sufficient. Ethical behaviour and ethical decision-making is a process. It incorporates values, opinions, perceptions, and personalities. Importantly, frameworks can assist us. This seminar will facilitate reflective practice by using relatable examples to explain what supports ethical behaviour and decision-making, including:

  • What does unethical decision-making look like?
  • How would you know if you or a colleague behaved in an unethical manner?
  • Is it ethical to be friends with patients through social media?
  • Futile treatment, euthanasia, and other ethical challenges
  • What to do when your value system is compromised …

Come to network and engage in discussion in a safe and supported environment. Book your place now!


Need for Program

Nurses, midwives, and other health professionals are at the forefront of providing health care. All of us that work in health care will be confronted by a wide range of ethical issues during the course of our day-to-day work. There is a need to make rapid decisions, yet this can be complicated by high workloads, complex systems, and human factors. There are few opportunities to professionally engage and discuss the ethical issues that arise in health care. Learning more about ethics can ensure that health professionals can confidently manage difficult situations, make clearer decisions, and improve patient outcomes.

Purpose of Program

By using realistic, everyday case studies, nurses, midwives, and other health professionals will gain practical knowledge on how to develop their ethical decision-making and problem-solving skills, and, in so doing, improve patient and family outcomes.

Your Learning Outcomes
  • Give benefit to patients in your care from you having both an understanding of what is ethical care and how to practice in an ethical manner
  • Respond with greater confidence to common clinical situations that may require a decision to be made based on an ethical framework or dilemma
  • Empower patients and families in your care by your ability to advocate for them and to enable them to comfortably discuss challenging ethical situations and concerns with you
  • “Unpack” common workplace clinical scenarios, enabling you to more clearly approach and resolve these issues, and more effectively support your colleagues in challenging situations
  • Schedule Day One

    8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


    Is my Behaviour Ethical?

    Your everyday work is likely underpinned by various codes of ethics, as well as your own set of values and morals. However, significant events and the associated decision-making required of us can challenge this. This session commences the seminar by using relatable examples to explain what is ethics and what is it not? How do we make ethical decisions and what can support ethical behaviour and decision-making? We will consider:

    • Why is there need for ethics in health care?
    • What are the underlying principles of ethics?
    • How do ethics and the law relate to each other?
    • What does unethical decision-making look like?
    • How would you know if you acted in an unethical manner?

    10:30am - Morning Tea


    When Change Challenges Your Ethics

    With so many changes affecting our community and, in turn, health care, ethical decision-making is becoming increasingly important, yet more difficult. This session follows on from the introductory session and looks at how modern trends, especially technology, are impacting the decisions we make. It includes:

    • What impact are these modern trends having on the ethical provision of health care:
      • Digital healthcare changes
      • Data and electronic records
      • Wearable technology
      • Artificial intelligence
      • Automation of processes and professions
      • Surveillance in health care settings
    • The big shift – consumer-driven care …


    Group Discussion: Patient Preferences – Who Has the Final Say, You or the Patient?

    A young woman with melanoma receives traditional medical treatment, which appears successful. After this she insists on only receiving non-evidenced treatment, involving vitamins and herbal preparations.

    • What are the ethical challenges posed to health professionals in this situation?

    12:30pm - Lunch and Networking


    Befriending Your Patients and Maintaining Boundaries – Where is the Fine Line?

    The boundary between a patient and a health professional is controlled by codes of conduct. If a breach occurs it can result in serious ethical situations. This session demonstrates what’s required of us ethically, legally and professionally, in this situation, using the following scenario:

    Case Scenario – What Would You Do?

    Jack is a 30-year-old man who works in IT. He has a shoulder injury that requires surgery. You have also experienced such an injury in the past and have a great rapport with him. Is it appropriate for you to disclose your experience to comfort him and at what stage would a boundary be breached?

    2:30pm - Afternoon Tea


    Social Media: What You Share and Who You Befriend …

    Social media is pervasive and can easily breach boundaries if you are not careful. This can result in serious ethical dilemmas and compromised situations. This session demonstrates what’s required of us ethically, legally, and professionally in this situation using the following scenario:

    Case Scenario – What Would You Do?

    Jack starts commenting on his health care and treatment options on your Facebook page – how do you respond?

    4:00pm - Close of Day One of Seminar

    Day Two

    9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


    When Your Value System is Compromised

    This short session looks at some of the issues that arise when you feel you have acted against your own personal values.


    What Would You Do? Case study – Moral Distress

    A well-respected senior health professional who generally leads your team intends to apply a new and unfamiliar treatment to adolescent patients. The information about the treatment is vague. In a team meeting one week later, a further description of the treatment is revealed. You are uncomfortable with the plan. You ask for clarification and become further dismayed. There is no evidence to suggest consent has been given for this treatment. There is divided opinion in the team, which only emerges after the team meeting. However, no one is prepared to discuss this with the senior health professional.

    • What is moral distress?
    • What would you do?

    10:30am - Morning Tea


    Just Because we Can, Does it Mean we Should?

    Simply because we can intervene to improve a health condition, does it mean we should? Ethical dilemmas may arise if there is a perception by health professionals that treatment interventions are unnecessary or may be futile. However, whose needs are being met? Ours, as clinicians, or those within our care? This session will address the moral distress that relates to providing care that appears to be futile. Examples for discussion include:

    • The overuse of technology and scarce resources for diagnostic and treatment purposes
    • Continued anguish and discomfort in relation to treatment interventions that appear to be futile …


    Case Scenario: End of Life Ethics – Whose Choice?

    Luigi’s is a widower with a long-standing haematological disorder. He has enjoyed a long and fruitful life. His condition is significantly and predictably deteriorating. He falls ill with what starts as an upper respiratory tract infection. However, in a matter of days, it progresses to sepsis and septic shock. Luigi is admitted to intensive care. A family meeting to discuss his treatment is called.

    • What are the ethical issues raised here?

    12:30pm - Lunch and Networking


    2020 and Beyond – Navigating the Ethical Challenges of the Future …

    If the current rate of change in health care is anything to go by, major changes in medicine and our society are likely to result in much more extreme ethical dilemmas in the near future. How might we be challenged and what might this mean? This session will look at:

    • Age-related reproductive technology issues
    • Euthanasia
    • Gene manipulation


    Can You “Conscientiously Object” to Provide Care as a Health Professional?

    Debates around issues, such as euthanasia, are lively and bring many opinions and different values to the surface. This highly interactive session will discuss the issue of “conscientious objection”’ and how this might play out in the future where such polarising issues enter health care. Not to be missed.

    3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    Your Biggest Ethical Dilemma

    Reflective practice is considered vital if we are to act and make decisions that are highly ethical. As such, this open forum concludes the seminar by exploring and reflecting on common ethical dilemmas that may affect health professionals in their day-to-day practice. It includes issues with communication, confidentiality, and differences of opinion. Be prepared for a lively debate!

    4:00pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations


    Linda Starr

    Linda Starr

    Dr Linda Starr is a general and mental health qualified nurse, lawyer, and associate professor in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Flinders University. Her research interests have been in health law for health practitioners, criminal law, forensic health care, and elder abuse investigation and prosecution, which was the subject of her PhD. Linda is currently the chair of the state board of the Nursing and Midwifery Board, Australia, the director on the Board of Directors at the Aged Rights Advocacy Service, and is the founding president of the Australian Forensic Nurses Association. She has an extensive speaking record, nationally and internationally, on issues in health law, forensic nursing, and elder abuse.

    Ethical Issues in Healthcare Seminar
    Speciality Classification
    Interest Areas / Topics Covered
    -- GENERAL --
    Provider Type
    10 Hours | 0 Mins
    Start Date
    End Date
    10 Hours | 0 Mins
    Melbourne VIC 3004
    Oaks on Market, 60 Market St
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