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protection and support of another's rights


self-determination; being independent and self-governing


principle of doing good


ethics that encompass all those perspectives that seek to understand human nature and behavior, the domain of social science, and the natural world

care-based approach

approach to bioethics that directs attention to the specific situations of individual patients viewed within the context of their life narrative

clinical ethics

branch of bioethics concerned with ethical problems that arise within the context of caring for patients

code of ethics

principles that reflect the primary goals, values, and obligations of the profession


ethical system in which actions are right or wrong independent of the consequences they produce

ethical agency

the ability to behave in an ethical way; to do the ethically right thing because it is the right thing to do

ethical dilemma

situation that arises when attempted adherence to basic ethical principles results in two conflicting courses of action

ethical distress

occurrence when the nurse knows the right thing to do but either personal or institutional factors make it difficult to follow the correct course of action


system dealing with standards of character and behavior related to what is right and wrong

feminist ethics

type of ethical approach that aims to critique existing patterns of oppression and domination in society, especially as these affect women and the poor


keeping promises and commitments made to others


process that distributes benefits, risks, and costs fairly


like ethics, concerned with what constitutes right action; more informal and personal than the term ethics


principle of avoiding evil

nursing ethics

a subset of bioethics; formal study of ethical issues that arise in the practice of nursing and of the analysis used by nurses to make ethical judgments


an action that is based on what a parent would do

principle-based approach

an approach to bioethics that offers specific action guides


action-guiding theory of ethics that states that the rightness or wrongness of an action depends on the consequences of the action


set of beliefs that are meaningful in life and that influence relationships with others

value system

organization of values ranked along a continuum of importance

values clarification

process by which people come to understand their own values and value system

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