Ethics and Law

  • Matjaž Zwitter


Human conduct and relations are regulated by legal and ethical norms. Why are there two systems? Legislation consists of clear formulations, is limited by political frontiers, and has clear sanctions. In contrast, ethical norms are broader and often limited to recommendations, may cross political or cultural borders, and may be applied retroactively. While the legal system adequately regulates relations among individuals of a comparable position, it often fails to protect the weak side in cases of significant differences in power and social weight. The relations of children to parents, students to teachers, citizens to politicians, readers to journalists, and patients to physicians are examples for which the legal system alone cannot offer adequate protection to the weak side, and for which ethical limitations to the power of the stronger side are essential.


Legislation Coherent society Imbalance of power Ethics 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matjaž Zwitter
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia
  2. 2.Institute of OncologyLjubljanaSlovenia

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