Australian nurses must now confess their “White Privilege” before treating patients

Nurses and midwives around the country must now adhere to a new code of conduct with a section specifically dedicated to “culture”

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

The new code of conduct was rolled out in March. Every nurse and midwife must confess their enjoyment of “white privilege” to an indigenous patient before any treatment can begin.  At this rate one can only wonder when crawling on hands and knees will be required. Just imagine an Aborigine woman in labour coming into a hospital and the medical staff then saying, “Before we can tend to you, we much first confess and then talk about the white privilege that we enjoy on a daily basis at your expense.”  Many nurses are calling for the termination of the Chairman of the Board of Nursing and Midwifery.

As reported by The Queensland Times


“We’re calling for the resignation of the chairman of the board (Associate Professor Lynette Cusack) because she’s put her name to it and it’s unacceptable.”

Credlin called it “almost too hard to believe”. “Before (a midwife) delivers a baby to an indigenous woman she’s supposed to put her hands up and say: ‘I need to talk to you about my white privilege’, not about my infection control, my qualifications or my training as a midwife?” she asked Mr Haycroft.

He said that was correct, but there’s no requirement to “announce” anything. The nurses must simply abide by the new code which state clearly that “cultural safety is as important to quality care as clinical safety”.

“Cultural safety … requires nurses and midwives to undertake an ongoing process of self-reflection and cultural self-awareness, and an acknowledgment of how a nurse’s/midwife’s personal culture impacts on care,” the code reads.

“In relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, cultural safety provides a decolonising model of practice based on dialogue, communication, power sharing and negotiation, and the acknowledgment of white privilege.

“These actions are a means to challenge racism at personal and institutional levels, and to establish trust in healthcare encounters.”

Mr Haycroft said the code was hastily approved with little consultation.

“It’s all of Australia. There’s 350,000 nurses and midwives Australia-wide and they’re all now subject to this new code,” he said.

Nurses and midwives fought the board in November last year when it was revealed a draft of the new code of conduct replaced references to “woman-centred care” with “person-centred care”.

On social media, users called the new code “stupid”.

“To think that it will help a person with indigenous blood if nurses would acknowledge their ‘white privilege’,” one woman wrote. “This is basically labelling of victims and oppressors by race. How embarrassing for Australia.”

Andrew Bolt, a prominent Australian radio personality put it this way:

The latest PC move is being slammed across the board and Andrew Bolt says it’s proof a new form of racism is being born.

“There is a new racism coming to us… that somehow being white is evil,” Andrew tells Chris Smith.

“What does the ceremony involve? Do you… crawl on your hands and knees across the room and then kiss the feet?

“Shouldn’t we just judge people by who they actually are as a person?”

Graeme Haycroft from the Nurses Professional Association of Queensland says he’s had a huge response from his members, and they aren’t happy.

“Over half of our members… said we object to it.”

Graeme says someone’s race has no relevance to how well they treat a patient and Andrew agrees.

“What if… they’re within seconds of dying and the nurse has to fling themselves into action but they have to stop while they just announce their white privilege?”

If they had some home of building bridges, this isn’t the way to do such. In fact it will only do the opposite. I hope that the nurses of Australia are able to get this bad leadership fired and return sanity to their respective profession. It is sad that medicine is being turned into a politically correct mess. When lives come into play, lunacy should definitely go.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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