Ethics and law in paramedic practice: Boundaries of capacity and interests

Hamish Carver, Dominique Moritz, Phillip Ebbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Decision-making is central to the everyday practice of paramedicine. Paramedics must deliver appropriate clinical care within the boundaries of the law, clinical guidelines and evidence-based standards. They must also deliver care that is consistent with ethical standards and respectful of the expectations, preferences and beliefs of the patient. Paramedics are required to make these decisions within settings that are often disordered, uncontrolled and unpredictable, where all the relevant information and circumstances are not fully known. Decision making in this environment is intended to provide care and treatment in the best interests of the patient. However, what should paramedics do when their intended, evidence based course of treatment is different from the patient’s own wishes? More specifically, how should they navigate these situations in the presence of complexities such as diminished mental capacity and end-of-life care? This article addresses these questions by exploring the relationship between healthcare ethics, health law and evidence-based practice in paramedicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Paramedic Practice: the clinical monthly for emergency care professionals
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Ethics and law in paramedic practice: Boundaries of capacity and interests'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this