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1. a branch of philosophy dealing with values pertaining to human conduct, considering the rightness and wrongness of actions and the goodness or badness of the motives and ends of such actions.
2. systematic rules or principles governing right conduct. Each practitioner, upon entering a profession, is invested with the responsibility to adhere to the standards of ethical practice and conduct set by the profession. adj., adj eth´ical.
applied ethics practical ethics.
descriptive ethics a type of nonnormative ethics that simply reports what people believe, how they reason, and how they act.
medical ethics the values and guidelines governing decisions in medical practice.
nonnormative ethics ethics whose objective is to establish what factually or conceptually is the case, not what ethically ought to be the case. Two types are descriptive ethics and metaethics.
normative ethics an approach to ethics that works from standards of right or good action. There are three types of normative theories: virtue theories, deontological theories, and teleological theories.
nursing ethics the values and ethical principles governing nursing practice, conduct, and relationships. The Code for Nurses, adopted by the American Nurses' Association (ANA) in 1950 and revised periodically, is intended to provide definite standards of practice and conduct that are essential to the ethical discharge of the nurse's responsibility. Further information on the Code, interpretative statements that clarify it, and guidance in implementing it in specific situations can be obtained from committees and councils on nursing practice of State Nurses' Associations or from the ANA Nursing Practice Department.
practical ethics the attempt to work out the implications of general theories for specific forms of conduct and moral judgment; formerly called applied ethics.
professional ethics the ethical norms, values, and principles that guide a profession and the ethics of decisions made within the profession.
the principles of proper professional conduct concerning the rights and duties of the physician, patients, and fellow practitioners, as well as the physician's actions in the care of patients and in relations with their families.
Etymology: L, medicare + Gk, ethikos
the moral conduct and principles that govern members of the medical profession.
medical ethicsThe moral construct focused on medical issues affecting patients and medical practitioners. Medical ethics is a field that formally considers the morality (and potential problems thereof) of medical decision-making, and addresses:
(1) The broad ethical principles that impact on patients, physicians and healthcare institutions; and
(2) The code of ethics of healthcare providers, first delineated in the Hippocratic oath. Landmark legal cases may delineate the boundaries of medical ethics, in particular those regarding autonomy and right-to-die.
medical ethicsThe moral construct focused on the medical issues of individual Pts and medical practitioners. See Baby Doe, Brouphy, Conran, Jefferson, Kevorkian, Quinlan, Roe v Wade, Webster decision.
med·i·cal eth·ics(med'i-kăl eth'iks)
The moral conduct and principles that govern members of the medical profession.
medical ethicsA code of practice by which doctors govern their professional behaviour. As well as the avoidance of MALPRACTICE, medical ethics is concerned with the many moral questions and dilemmas that have arisen in consequence of medical advances—questions such as the rightness of prolonging life by extraordinary means, choices in allocating limited resources, decisions about organ transplantation, the propriety of psychosurgery, how far research on fetuses is justified, how trials of new drugs should be conducted, whether the diagnosis of genetic defects in embryos is always justified and how far genetic engineering may ethically proceed.
med·i·cal eth·ics(med'i-kăl eth'iks)
Principles of proper professional conduct concerning the rights and duties of the physician, patients, and fellow practitioners, as well as the physician's actions in the care of patients and in relations with their families.