ARNA Webinar | Nursing Ethics - lessons from a pandemic

Join us for the next webinar of our ARNA Webinar Series in 2022.

Nursing Ethics - lessons from a global pandemic

Wednesday 21 September 2022, 7.00-8.00pm AEST

Session Overview:
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus a range of poignant ethical issues for the nursing profession. As the pandemic unfolded, media reports documented the extraordinary demands placed on nurses, doctors and their co-workers. Despite their fear, isolation, exhaustion, and the extreme risks to their health and lives, nurses continued to turn up for work – day-after-day, week-after-week, and month-after-month.

It is generally expected that nurses, as professionals, will hold themselves to a higher standard of conduct than the ‘ordinary person on the street’. During the pandemic, however, it became clear that nurses were working ‘beyond the call of duty’ – often at great personal cost to themselves, their families, and their general wellbeing. This observation has raised confronting questions about whether it is ever morally just to expect nurses to work ‘beyond the call of duty’ such as has occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to this question, the following three issues will be briefly explored:

  * the moral limits to the ‘duty to care’ (opting in) and the ethics of ‘refusals to care’ (opting out) 
  * the ethics of solidarity and the duty of the public (e.g. to ‘behave well’ and to put the moral interests of the community above those of individuals) 
  * the moral costs of making tragic choices.

The moral quandaries associated with operationalising ‘crisis standard of care’ and the question of whether such standards can ever be morally justified will also be briefly considered.


Cost:  ARNA Members - FREE    *Sign in to register
          Non Members - $25.00    *Sign in or create a new account to register

 Meet our Speaker:

Dr Megan-Jane Johnstone AO

Dr Megan-Jane Johnstone AO is a retired professor of nursing who now writes as an independent scholar. Internationally renowned for her work, she has published extensively on the subject of nursing and health care ethics with a particular focus on patients’ rights, cross-cultural ethics, health and human rights, mental health ethics, end-of-life ethics, professional conduct and patient safety ethics. Megan-Jane has published over 190 works including books, book chapters, journal articles, invited commentaries and editorials. Notable among her works are the internationally acclaimed: Bioethics a nursing perspective (published by Elsevier 1989, 1994, 1999, 2005, 2009, 2016, 2019) currently being prepared as an 8th revised edition); Nursing and the injustices of the law (Harcourt Brace 1994); and Alzheimer’s disease, media representations and the politics of euthanasia: constructing risk and selling death in an aging society (Routledge, 2013). She is also the curating editor of an inaugural three volume Sage Major Reference Work titled Nursing ethics (Sage UK, 2015).  During the period 2008-2018, Megan-Jane wrote a bi-monthly column for the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal. In 2019 she was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) for 'distinguished service to medical education in the field of nursing and healthcare ethics, to patients' rights, and to professional standards.'

For further information:


Continuing Professional Development - 1 point/1 hour

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9/21/2022 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
AUS Eastern Standard Time
Zoom Meeting Access Details Will Be Sent By 1pm on Event Day

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