Virtue-Based Ethics and Duty-Based Ethics in Healthcare

Topics: Ethics, Medicine, Health care Pages: 3 (500 words) Published: February 16, 2015
Essay #1

Edmund Pellegrino states, in the Virtuous Physician and the Ethics of Medicine “that in most professional ethical codes, virtue and duty-based ethics are intermingled.” He is explaining how in both codes the medical professional is looking to the best interest of others, virtuously the patient. Virtue-based ethics is considered doing what is right not just because you are told to but because it is right. Duty-based ethics is the obligation and laws a person is expected to abide by with others. When a person is doing what is really in the best interest of others they will be abiding by both codes. In The Hippocratic Oath we see how physicians were expected to “do all in their measure to keep the sick from harm and injustice,” “to guard their life and art,” to be a virtuous person. To keep confidentiality, sustain life, and benefit the sick without injustice which is both duty-based and virtue based. In the Code of Ethics for Nurses we see how nurses are expected to give “primary commitment to the patient,” “to assume the same duties to self as to others.” In essence both even though they were written centuries apart have ethical codes embracing both virtue and duty-based ethics, which is exactly what is expected from heath care professionals. Pellegrino reminds us that each person has a different expression of virtue and therefor rules, rights, and duties must be written to ensure that all patients are treated fair. When both virtue and duty-based ethics intermingle the best interest of the patient is being established which is the expected ultimate goal of each healthcare professional.

Essay #2

Amy Haddad, in The Nurse/Physician Relationship and Ethical Decision Making states how the relationship between the nurse and physician needs to be viewed as both being equal persons who are looking out for the best interest of the patient. Haddad criticizes what is considered the doctor-nurse game because it...
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