Martin Woods

Dr Martin Woods profile picture

    Senior Lecturer Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, Faculty of Health

  • 04 4635034
  • Room 703, Clinical Services Block, Wellington Hospital


Teaching in 2018

Research interests

Nursing ethics; nursing research; health care law and ethics; nursing philosophy and theory.Palliative care.


DipN, BA, MA (Hons), PhD, RN


Regional Editor, Journal of Nursing Ethics

New Zealand representative for Ethics and Human Rights, International Council of Nurses


Martin has been involved in nursing and nursing education for several decades. His current role as Senior Lecturer is a joint appointment between Victoria University and Mary Potter Hospice.

His research focuses predominately on the ethical and legal aspects of health care delivery and nursing services, as well as related aspects of nursing practice and education.

His 2007 doctorate related to both ethical and legal considerations involving parental resistance towards medical treatment for a seriously ill child. Other research issues that he has addressed include a national survey on moral distress amongst New Zealand nurses, cultural safety and socio-ethical nursing, caring practices and an ethic of care in nursing, and commentaries on ethical concerns within nursing.

The recognition of acknowledged expertise in this domain has led to offers to be involved in other projects, e.g. chapters on research ethics, applied law and an ethic of care in Australasian and international books and a large number of speaking engagements at national and international conferences. His ethics background is also recognised by formal appointments, such as the New Zealand Consultant for Ethics & Human Rights with the International Council of Nurses, a member of various ethics committees, a journal editor, and more.

Martin as provided ongoing contributions to the Codes of Ethics for Nurses and other national Codes of Ethics, and frequently served as an expert witness (ethics) for the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal/Nursing Council.


Book chapters

Woods, M. (2014). Tronto’s legacy: The socioethical practitioner in contemporary health care. In G. Olthius, H. Kohlen & J. Heier (Eds.) Moral boundaries redrawn: The significance of Joan Tronto's argument for political theory, professional ethics, and care as practice/Ethics of care, Vol. 3. (pp.93-112). Leuven: Peeters. (ISBN: 978-90-429-3023-0)

Field, J. & Woods, M. (2014). Legal dimensions of nursing and midwifery. In J. Dempsey, J. Hillege & R. Hill (Eds.) Fundamentals of Nursing and Midwifery. A Person-Centred Approach to Care (2nd ed.). Broadway, NSW: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. (ISBN 9781920994051)

Woods, M.(2013).An ethic of care in nursing: Past, present and future considerations. In C. Koggel & J. Orme (Eds.). Care ethics: New theories and applications. London: Routledge Press. (ISBN 978-0-415-62330-8)

Woods, M.& Schneider, Z. (2012). Ethical and legal issues in research. In Z. Schneider, D.Whitehead, G. LoBiondo-Wood & J. Haber (Eds.). Nursing and Midwifery Research: Methods and Appraisal for Evidence-based Practice (4th ed.). Sydney: Mosby.

Journal articles

Woods, M., & Asher, J. B. (2015). Nurses and the euthanasia debate: reflections from New Zealand. INTERNATIONAL NURSING REVIEW, 62(1), 13-20. doi:10.1111/inr.12145

Humphries, A., & Woods, M. (2015). A study of nurses' ethical climate perceptions: Compromising in an uncompromising environment. Nursing Ethics: an international journal for health care professionals, 1-12. doi:10.1177/0969733014564101

Woods, M. (2014). Beyond moral distress: Preserving the ethical integrity of nurses. Nursing Ethics: an international journal for health care professionals, 127-128. doi:10.1177/0969733013512741

Woods, M., Rodgers, V., Towers, A., & La Grow, S. (2014). Researching moral distress among New Zealand nurses: A national survey. Nursing Ethics: an international journal for health care professionals. doi:10.1177/0969733014542679

Woods, M. (2013). Causes of moral distress must be tackled now. Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand, 19(10), 30-31.

Woods, M. (2012). Exploring the relevance of social justice within a relational nursing ethic. Nursing Philosophy, 13, 56-65. doi:10.1111/j.1466-769X.2011.00525

Woods, M. (2012). 'There is only narrative': Using case studies in nursing ethics. Nursing Ethics: an international journal for health care professionals, 5-6. doi:10.1177/0969733011434199


Teaching in 2018