Ethico-Moral Aspects in Nursing



  • comes from Greek work w/c means character/culture
  • Branch of Philosophy w/c determines right and wrong


  • personal/private interpretation from what is good and bad.
Ethical Principles:
  1. Autonomy – the right/freedom to decide (the patient has the right to refuse despite the explanation of the nurse) Example: surgery, or any procedure
  2. Nonmaleficence – the duty not to harm/cause harm or inflict harm to others (harm maybe physical, financial or social)
  3. Beneficence– for the goodness and welfare of the clients
  4. Justice – equality/fairness in terms of resources/personnel
  5. Veracity – the act of truthfulness
  6. Fidelity – faithfulness/loyalty to clients
Moral Principles:
  1. Golden Rule
  2. The principle of Totality – The whole is greater than its parts
  3. Epikia – There is always an exemption to the rule
  4. One who acts through as agent is herself responsible – (instrument to the crime)
  5. No one is obliged to betray herself – You cannot betray yourself
  6. The end does not justify the means
  7. Defects of nature maybe corrected
  8. If one is willing to cooperate in the act, no justice is done to him
  9. A little more or a little less does not change the substance of an act.
  10. No one is held to impossible
  • Law – Rule of conduct commanding what is right and what is wrong. Derived from an Anglo-Saxon term that means“that which is laid down or fixed”
  • Court – Body/agency in government wherein the administration of justice is delegated.
  • Plaintiff – Complainant or person who files the case (accuser)
  • Defendant – Accused/respondent or person who is the subject of complaint
  • Witness– Individual held upon to testify in reference to a case either for the accused or against the accused.
Written orders of court

Writ – legal notes from the court

  1. Subpoena
    1. Subpoena Testificandum – a writ/notice to an individual/ordering him to appear in court at a specific time and date as witness.
    2. Subpoena Duces Tecum- notice given to a witness to appear in court to testify including all important documents
  2. Summon – notice to a defendant/accused ordering him to appear in court to answer the complaint against him
  3. Warrant of Arrest – court order to arrest or detain a person
  4. Search warrant – court order to search for properties.

Public law  

  • body of law that deals with relationship between individuals and the State/government and government agencies. Laws for the welfare of the general public.

Private/Civil Law 

  • body of law that deals with relationships among private individuals

Private/Civil Law 

  1. Contract law – involves the enforcement of agreements among private individuals or the payment of compensation for failure to fulfill the agreements
  • Ex. Nurse and client nurse and insurance
  • Nurse and employer client and health agency
    • An agreement between 2 or more competent person to do or not to do some lawful act.
    • It maybe written or oral= both equally binding
Types of Contract:
  1. Expressed –when 2 parties discuss and agree orally or in writing the terms and conditions during the creation of the contract.
    • Example: nurse will work at a hospital for only a stated length of time (6 months),under stated conditions (as volunteer, straight AM shift, with food/transportation allowance)
  2. Implied – one that has not been explicitly agreed to by the parties, but that the law considers to exist.
    • Example: Nurse newly employed in a hospital is expected to be competent and to follow hospital policies and procedures even though these expectations were not written or discussed.
    • Likewise: the hospital is expected to provide the necessary supplies, equipment needed to provide competent, quality nursing care.
Feature/Characteristics/Elements of a lawful contract:
  1. Promise or agreement between 2 or more persons for the performance of an action or restraint from certain actions.
  2. Mutual understanding of the terms and meaning of the contract by all.
  3. A lawful purpose – activity must be legal
  4. Compensation in the form of something of value-monetary

Persons who may not enter into a contract: minor, insane, deaf, mute and ignorant

Tort law

  • Is a civil wrong committed against a person or a person’s property.
  • Person/person’s responsible for the tort are sued for damages
  • Is based on:
    • ACT OF COMMISSION –something that was done incorrectly
    • ACT OF OMMISION – something that should have been done but was not.