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Naming individual health professionals a dangerous precedent

19 March 2013: The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is extremely disappointed and disturbed that the High Court has overturned a Coroner’s decision and named individual health professionals. NZNO agrees with the ASMS that naming the individuals involved in his care sets a dangerous precedent.

NZNO acting professional services manager, Hilary Graham-Smith says, “The Coroner found that systems failure led to the tragic death of Zachary Gravatt. If the problem is systemic, the solution should be systemic as well. Naming and shaming individuals is not conducive to positive change.”

“The nursing practice of the three nurses named was never called into question and even though the High Court judgment makes that clear, it certainly isn’t being reported that way.”

“NZNO is also surprised to hear that there is a view that a ‘veil of secrecy’ lies over the NZ health system. The only secret we would like to have answered to why the family of Zachary Gravatt negotiated a private agreement with the currently practicing doctor to keep his or her name suppressed whilst continuing to push for the release of the nurses’ names,” Graham-Smith says.

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