The Legal and Professional Status of Nursing addresses the questions: "What is the legal status of the registered nurse, what is the nurse's role and what are the nurse's professional, political and clinical responsibilities and duties?" The text is divided into five parts, each of which looks at an aspect of the complexity of the conflicting images of the nurse in the law. They take on a broadly chronological form. The predominance of the early case law is to be found in the chapters addressing the images of the nurse as a domestic worker and the doctor's hand maiden. Though these two images have diminished in intensity over the twentieth century, neither has disappeared completely. The third image of the nurse as a ministering angel image can still be found today in a somewhat attenuated form. The fourth and fifth images of the nurse as a subordinate or autonomous professional, have been far more prevalent in recent years.
This will be a key text for professional nursing and health law and ethics courses at both undergraduate and post graduate levels, and for legal practices specialising in health law. It brings together a large body of unreported case law from civil, disciplinary, industrial and coronial jurisdictions. It also provides a useful and novel example of the emerging field of outsider jurisprudence to analyse the ambiguous status of the nurse.
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