Publication Details

Williamson, MJ and Harrison, L, Dealing with diversity: incorporating cultural sensitivity into professional midwifery practice, Australian Journal of Midwifery, 14(2), 2001, p 22-25.


In the Australian College of Midwives, Code of Ethics, Section 11. Practice of Midwifery, the following is stated "A. Midwives provide care for women and childbearing families with respect for cultural diversity while also working to eliminate harmful practices within those same cultures." However, it is difficult to know what is meant by "respect for cultural diversity". This paper presents the results of a critical review of the health literature. There is surprisingly little consensus about the meaning of terms such as cultural sensitivity and cultural appropriate care. Nor are there reflections on incorporating these concepts into practice. It could be argued that until there is greater clarity about these concepts and more discussion of how they may be used in practice, midwives would have to continue to rely on their individual knowledge and experience.



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