Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Elizabeth M. Altmaier
Ethics can be considered in a variety of ways: as a set of ethical codes, as a decision-making model, or as a set of principles. For example, other entries in this volume discuss ethics from all of these perspectives. There is typically a set of common principles that underlie these perspectives, and these are the moral principles that are commonly accepted. So, for example, many ethical codes rest on the following principles: respect for autonomy (agreeing that another person has the right to think and choose as he or she wishes), nonmaleficence (not harming another person), beneficence (taking positive actions toward another person), justice (equality in the distribution of benefits and tasks), fidelity (meeting one's responsibilities in a relationship based on trust and commitment), and veracity (truthfulness and integrity). The difficulty with any set of ethics based on principles is that principles can “collide” in an ethical dilemma. So, for ...