The case for teaching nursing ethics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article stresses importance of teaching nursing ethics on the ground that 1) courses in bioethics which focus on the role of the physician as the paradigmatic healt-care provider belie the actual nature of our health-care system and misplace the locus of much of the responsibility for how patients, especially hospitalized patients, fare. In addition, 2) the study of nursing ethics draws attention to issues which, though they arise for the nurse in quite specific nursing situations, nonetheless highlight what is important in the study of moral relations generally, and bring to the fore important general questions about the nature of moral responsibility itself. Finally, 3) it is argued that the very defining concepts of the nursing profession are themselves of philosophical and ethical interest. Note is taken of the concern expressed by those in the nursing profession regarding the lack of humanities education and suggestions are made for introducing the study of nursing ethics into nursing and philosophy curricula.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-599
Number of pages7
JournalMedicine and Law
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Law


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