Caring and its ethical aspects-an empirical philosophical dialogue on caring

Abstract

With a focus on caring ethics, the aim of this study was to see if and how experienced nurses in care for the elderly described caring and whether they included any theoretical basis to their caring acts. Questions that guided the research were: Does ethical caring theory have any relevance in nurses clinical work? How do experienced nurses describe care in general, their intentions and motives in particular? In order to enter into the meanings of caring, a reflective lifeworld research approach based on phenomenology was utilized. Eleven experienced nurses were interviewed and the resulting transcripts were analysed for meaning, The findings revealed caring as a seamless integration of different levels, or embodied moments, of knowledge. In caring that is understood as a practical, aesthetical and ethical field of force, there is room for "being", "becoming" and "doing". Theory and practice can and must intertwine to enable the caring goal of health as well-being. A conclusion that may be drawn from this study is that there is a potential for connecting ethical caring concepts and theories into practical everyday care. Nurses basic intentions for a care-giving profession, as well as hidden/forgotten theory and concepts, are viewed in this study as a possibility of turning from a pre-reflective state to a more conscious level. This study gives new nuances to the understanding that existence affects caring and caring affects existence, and contributes to the more general claim that it now is high time for ethical caring science theory to be visible and make a change in care. Highlighting the experience of existential caring intentionality, and relating the experience to theoretical caring substance, this study may contribute to the development of a more consciously ethical and individualized caring culture

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References found in this work

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Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1945 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Donald A. Landes.
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