The history of altruism and paramedicine

Ruth Townsend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


As paramedicine moves to become recognised as a full profession in Australia , it is worth considering how the elements that identify a discipline as a profession apply to paramedicine(1). Michael Eburn and I have previously written in this column and elsewhere about how a discipline gains professional status when it is able to regulate itself with regard to determining education, training and discipline standards, determining who can and cannot enter the profession, the scope of practice of the profession and the way in which the work should be done. The other common element that is strongly associated with a discipline being considered a ‘profession’ is that it has, at its foundation, altruistic roots. Altruism, originating from the Latin alteri huic ‘to this other’, refers to an act of selflessness and concern for the well-being of others.(2)
Original languageEnglish
JournalResponse: The Australasian College of Paramedicine
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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