HIVAIDS/Legal Ethical Moral Issues

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Legal, Ethical, Moral Issues

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Otago Polytechnic Student Portal and Student IT Service Desk
Bill Robertson library services and facilities for remote students
Library of resources
Elluminate web conference - Class meeting link
email discussion forum on Google Groups

To do

  • There will be two weeks of moderated discussion on the group email forum.
  • If you have accepted an invitation to join you can send an email to the group by emailing from your usual email address to:
  • Follow the instructions below.

Assessed moderated discussion

This week you start a discussion which will be moderated by Anne Coup from the Nursing School at Otago Polytechnic. This is part of Assignment One. There are several parts to this exercise.

  1. Work through the example scenario following the steps below - this is not assessed.
  2. Provide a scenario of your own from clinical practice or from your reading for discussion - assessed.
  3. Respond to at least three discussion postings from other participants during the discussion - assessed.
  4. Write a reflection about your participation - assessed.

Part A - Example scenario

Work through the example scenario which is provided. This is taken from the assessment document.

  • Step one - as you read the following scenario, consider the legal, ethical and moral issues.

Student nurses currently have to provide laboratory evidence of their Hepatitis B, Varicella and Rubella status. They are also screened for Tuberculosis when they enter the program. It has been suggested that student nurses should also be screened for HIV before entry to the program.

  • Step two - explanation of ethical principles and health care law.
(a) Ethics: You may choose to explain how each of the following ethical principles is relevant in this situation. Autonomy, Beneficence, Non-maleficence, Justice. (For definitions of the four principles refer to the books listed below.)
(b) Health care law: Familiarise yourself with the Human Rights Act 1993 - this describes the ‘areas’ in which it is unlawful to discriminate against people. (A book to assist with this topic is referenced below.)
  • Step three

You could pose the following questions in order to stimulate discussion:

  • Would it be lawful to decline an application to nursing because the person was HIV positive?
  • Would it be lawful for an employer to refuse the appointment of a registered nurse job applicant because of her/his HIV status?

Part B - Your example for discussion

From your reading or practice experience in relation to HIV/AIDS, provide an example of a situation where stigma or a legal/ethical issue has arisen in the nursing context.
Initiate a discussion on-line (using the forum provided) with your colleagues about any aspect of stigma or the legal/ethical issues related to HIV/AIDS.
Explore the relevant Acts of Parliament/ ethical principles in order to be certain that your response is correct.

Part C - Responding to others

You are asked to respond to at least three discussion postings from other participants on the email forum.

Part D - Reflection on your participation

Reflect on how well you feel you participated and contributed to the topic.
Write an A4 one page summary of your discussion experience.


The following books contain information about the four ethical principles and health care law. Distance students can contact the library and have copies emailed or posted.

  • Farrell, M. (2005). Smeltzer & Bare’s medical-surgical nursing. NSW., Australia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (p.27).


  • Johnson, S. (2000). Health care and the law. Wellington, New Zealand: Printlink. (Chapter 19). or any ethics nursing text

Marking Criteria

The first two criteria will need to be demonstrated during the two weeks of moderated discussion, and you are expected to actively and critically participate and provide at least three responses to postings from other participants. The third criteria will be demonstrated in the A4 summary.

  • Critical discussion includes reference to relevant Acts of Parliament and Codes of Nursing Ethics (7.5%)
  • Critical response (7.5%)
  • Reflection on own participation (5%)

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