Ethical Principles

—Examples of Virtues or Values:

Autonomy: the duty to maximize the individual’s right to make his or her own decisions.

Beneficence: the duty to do good both individually and for all.

Confidentiality: the duty to respect privacy of information and action.

Equality: the duty to view all people as moral equals.

Finality: the duty to take action that may override the demands of law, religion, and social customs.

Justice: the duty to treat all fairly, distributing the risks and benefits equally.

Nonmaleficence: the duty to cause no harm, both individually and for all.

Understanding/Tolerance: the duty to understand and to accept other viewpoints if reason dictates doing so is warranted.

Publicity: the duty to take actions based on ethical standards that must be known and recognized by all who are involved.

Respect for persons: the duty to honor others, their rights, and their responsibilities. Showing respect others implies that we do not treat them as a mere means to our end.

Universality: the duty to take actions that hold for everyone, regardless of time, place, or people involved. This concept is similar to the Categorical Imperative.

Veracity: the duty to tell the truth.


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