Aristotle, Nursing and Health Care Ethics

Nursing Ethics 2 (4):279-285 (1995)
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Abstract

Even a brief consideration of the nature of nursing will indicate that an ethical dimension underlies much, if not all, of nursing practice. It is therefore important that students and practitioners are facilitated in developing an ethical awareness and sensitivity from early in their professional development. This paper argues that Aristotelian virtue theory provides a practice-based focus for health care ethics for a number of reasons. Also, because of his emphasis on the character of the moral agent, and on the importance of perception and emotion in moral decision-making, Aristotelian virtue theory provides a useful supplement to the traditional duty-based approaches to health care ethics analysis, which are increasingly being identified in the literature as having limits to their application within the health care context

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