Nursing in asylum seeker detention in Australia: care, rights and witnessing
- 1Human Rights and Bioethics Unit, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, 89 Commercial Road, Melbourne 3004, Victoria, Australia
- 2Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
- Correspondence to Deborah Zion, Human Rights and Bioethics Unit, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Australia;
- Received 14 February 2009
- Revised 24 May 2009
- Accepted 5 June 2009
The system of asylum seeker detention in Australia is one in which those seeking refuge are stripped of many of their rights, including the right to health. This presents serious ethical problems for healthcare providers working within this system. In this article we describe asylum seeker detention and analyse the role of nurses. We discuss how far an “ethics of care” and witnessing the suffering of asylum seekers can serve to improve their situation and improve ethical nursing practice.
Funding The project has been funded by the Australian Research Council.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.