Ethics and the End-of-Life Care

  • Dan R. Thompson


The basis for much of what we find to be ethics rests in theory and principles. Although the terms ethics and morality represent the same concept and therefore are interchangeable, we generally use the term ethics. Bioethics is the common term for ethics in the biosciences, which includes medicine. The term morality seems to have a religious overtone. We will examine the concepts from a Western perspective, but ethical principles should truly be considered universal and not dependent on location. Although this might not necessarily be true, discussion of that issue is beyond the scope of this chapter. The study of bioethics is based on four simple concepts – autonomy, beneficence, justice, and nonmaleficence – that we will review briefly.1,2


Brain Death Distributive Justice Advance Directive Health Care Team Critical Care Unit 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dan R. Thompson
    • 1
  1. 1.Professor of Surgery and Anesthesiology, Department of Surgery, Alden March Bioethics InstituteAlbany Medical CollegeAlbanyUSA

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