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.
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Funding The project has been funded by the Australian Research Council.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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