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Lady Cilento Hospital doctors and staff know their ethical responsibilities

Published: 15 February 2016

The refusal of doctors and staff at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane to discharge baby Asha so the government can return her to detention on Nauru is to be admired, says Australian Association of Social Workers’ National President, Professor Karen Healy AM.

”The doctors and staff are following through with their ethical responsibilities to their patient. They know that Asha’s social, emotional and psychological development would be severely compromised if she, and other traumatised asylum seeker children, were returned to the offshore detention centre,” Professor Healy said.

Professor Healy, who was named as a Member of the Order of Australia this year for her contributions to social work in the areas of child protection, higher education and research, said the Australian Government must stop its practice of institutionally abusing children and rationalising that it stops other desperate families getting on boats to come to Australia.

“The government appears to have learnt little from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse,” she said. “If the Nauru facility was on Australian soil, it would probably have been closed down months ago.”

”It is time for the Prime Minister to make the right decision to keep these children safe. The way to do this is by keeping them and their families in Australia and providing them with the support they need to reduce the impact of trauma in their lives,” Professor Healy said.

The AASW represents over 9,000 professional social workers, many at the frontline of refugee and migrant welfare.

To organise an interview with Professor Karen Healy AM please contact Emma Pegrum, Media and Marketing Manager, on 02 6199 5011 or 0408 200 191

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers