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in bioethics, a trait of character that disposes a person habitually to excellence of intent and performance with respect to the telos proper to life as a human being or to a specific activity or role in life. Some virtues (such as cleanliness) are important socially rather than morally. (See also morality.) Virtues in medicine include trustworthiness, compassion, phronesis, justice, fortitude, temperance, integrity, and self-effacement.