A Clinical Midwife had worked in a hospital for 32 years. Her experience and length of service counted for nothing, however, when she was dismissed for administering Oxytocin – a drug that was ‘outside the scope of her practice’ – without a doctor’s medical order. The employer contended that this fundamental breach of procedure “caused serious risk to the health and safety of (the) patient” and constituted “serious misconduct warranting summary dismissal without notice”. In considering if the dismissal was a proportionate response to the Midwife’s misconduct, the Fair Work Commission found a number of factors lent weight to the case of the employee – but none outweighed the seriousness of the misconduct which contravened a vital protocol and may have had catastrophic results for the patient. Among the potentially mitigating factors was the Midwife’s long record of unblemished service, but the Commission ultimately agreed with the employer in suggesting this “cuts both ways”: “The Respondent is entitled to expect from such a senior and long serving employee, who is an example to junior midwives and students, that she will not put patients’ lives at risk by failing to follow proper clinical practices and procedures involving dangerous drugs.” The ruling determined that the termination of the Midwife's employment was not harsh, unjust or unreasonable.