An International Code of Ethics will be adopted for Australian midwives from 1 March 2018.

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), Australian College of Midwives (ACM), Australian College of Nursing (ACN) and Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) have agreed to jointly adopt the International Council of Nurses ‘Code of ethics for nurses’ (ICN Ethics) and the International Confederation of Midwives ‘Code of ethics for midwives’ (ICM Ethics) as the guiding documents for ethical decision-making for nurses and midwives in Australia1.

The International Confederation of Midwives, Code of Ethics, addresses the midwife’s ethical mandate in keeping with the Mission, the International definition of the Midwife and the ICM’s standards to promote the health and well-being of women and newborns within their families and communities2.

The Mission of the ICM is to strengthen Midwives Associations and to advance the profession of midwifery globally by promoting autonomous midwives as the most appropriate caregivers for childbearing women and in keeping birth normal, in order to enhance the reproductive health of women, their newborns and their families.

In summary the Code addresses:

  • Midwifery Relationships;
  • Practice of Midwifery;
  • The Professional Responsibilities of Midwives; and
  • Advancement of Midwifery Knowledge and Practice.

The impact of the introduction of the new Code is that it will be admissible as evidence in any Nursing and Midwifery Board regulatory or disciplinary proceedings as to what constitutes acceptable professional standards.

We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the ICM Ethics prior to its introduction in March 2018.

1 www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/News/2017-12-04-change-to-ethical-decision-making.aspx
2 internationalmidwives.org/who-we-are/vision-mission/

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