beneficence


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Related to beneficence: Nonmaleficence

beneficence

 [bĕ-nef´ĭ-sens]
the doing of active goodness, kindness, or charity, including all actions intended to benefit others. It is contrasted to benevolence, which refers to the character trait or moral virtue of being disposed to act for the benefit of others. In bioethics, the principle of beneficence refers to a moral obligation to act for the benefit of others. Not all acts of beneficence are obligatory, but a principle of beneficence asserts an obligation to help others further their interests. Obligations to confer benefits, to prevent and remove harms, and to weigh and balance the possible goods against the costs and possible harms of an action are central to bioethics.

Beneficence may be considered to include four components: (1) one ought not to inflict evil or harm (sometimes called the principle of nonmaleficence); (2) one ought to prevent evil or harm; (3) one ought to remove evil or harm; and (4) one ought to do or promote good.

ben·e·fi·cence

(be-nef'ĭ-sens),
The ethical principle of doing good.
[L. beneficentia, fr. bene, well, + facio, to do]

ben·e·fi·cence

(bĕ-nef'i-sĕns)
The habit, intention, or practice of doing good.
[L. beneficentia, fr. bene, well, + facio, to do]

beneficence (b·neˑ·fi·sns),

n a principle of medical ethics according to which a person should do good to others, especially when one has a professional duty to do so.
References in classic literature ?
It was visible in the calm and well-considered beneficence of his daily life, the quiet stream of which had made a wide green margin all along its course.
Its look of grand beneficence seemed to embrace the world.
If, for example, there were any who had been the cause of many deaths, or had betrayed or enslaved cities or armies, or been guilty of any other evil behaviour, for each and all of their offences they received punishment ten times over, and the rewards of beneficence and justice and holiness were in the same proportion.
The soul requires purity, but purity is not it; requires justice, but justice is not that; requires beneficence, but is somewhat better; so that there is a kind of descent and accommodation felt when we leave speaking of moral nature to urge a virtue which it enjoins.
He was one day engaged with Mr Allworthy in a discourse on charity: in which the captain, with great learning, proved to Mr Allworthy, that the word charity in Scripture nowhere means beneficence or generosity.
I mean, that we are liable to be imposed upon, and to confer our choicest favours often on the undeserving, as you must own was your case in your bounty to that worthless fellow Partridge: for two or three such examples must greatly lessen the inward satisfaction which a good man would otherwise find in generosity; nay, may even make him timorous in bestowing, lest he should be guilty of supporting vice, and encouraging the wicked; a crime of a very black dye, and for which it will by no means be a sufficient excuse, that we have not actually intended such an encouragement; unless we have used the utmost caution in chusing the objects of our beneficence.
Even when thou art gentle towards them, they still feel themselves despised by thee; and they repay thy beneficence with secret maleficence.
Yet he might not have been so perfectly humane, so thoughtful in his generosity, so full of kindness and tenderness amidst his passion for adventurous exploit, had she not unfolded to him the real loveliness of beneficence and made the doing good the end and aim of his soaring ambition.
He received them in his poor room (he disliked an introduction in the mere yard, as informal--a thing that might happen to anybody), with a kind of bowed-down beneficence.
In others words, while sympathy cultivated in accordance with duty engages him to act beneficently, his reason for acting beneficently (what ultimately determines him to act) is not that sympathy moves him, but that beneficence is required, or intrinsically right.
Such purity of spirit, such altruism, such beneficence.
Oh, yes, they accepted God's beneficence, but they carped and complained and groaned the moment that hardship loomed.