The Th














'...not just the premier Christian bioethics institute in Britain,

but one of the finest in the world, Christian or secular'

Most Rev. Anthony Fisher O.P., Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney


Ethics in Nursing Practice 

Basic Principles and their Application 

Contemporary nursing practice raises complex ethical issues which demand the attention of nurses themselves and of everyone concerned about ethical standards in the provision of health care. This book is an attempt to study these issues in a systematic way, based on the conviction that there are fundamental principles of morality which human beings can grasp, defend by rational argument and apply in practice.




  1. Nurses, the Nursing Profession and Ethical Problems
  2. Ethical Problems in Nursing; What Help do the Professional Codes Give Us?
  3. Philosophy, Ethics, and Nursing Ethics
  4. Morality and Objective Truth
  5. Morality and the Flourishing of Persons
  6. In Search of Fundamental Moral Principles
  7. Moral Principles, Character and Integrity
  8. Treating Patients with Respect
  9. Problems of Honesty and Confidentiality
  10. Problems of Life and Death (1)
  11. Problems of Life and Death (2)
  12. Problems of Life and Death (3)
  13. Issues in Sexual Ethics
  14. Professional Relationships and Professional Standards

Appendix: Some Suggestions for Further Reading



"This is a fine volume for the classroom. The subject matter - nursing ethics- is very timely, and very necessary. Ethics teachers in nursing schools will find this to be the answer to their prayers. It is a presentation of ethics specifically for their students' specialty. It is a faithful presentation of the Church's moral teaching applied to the full spectrum of nursing care issues, from professional identity to the necessity of ethical reflection on specific issues in medicine (abortion, surgery etc) and back again to professional character and conduct. It is clearly written and divided into manageable chapters and topics. It employs practical examples at every turn taken from nurses themselves."

- Rev Russell E Smith

The Linacre Quarterly Feb 1991

"...[T]his is a highly recommended textbook for all those concerned with nursing and nurses' education and, in a wider sense, for all engaged in the ethical framework of health care."

- Fr Bernado Domingues OP 

Decisions Spring 1991 

"This book goes a considerable way towards filling a gap which Christian nurses may become aware of when studying ethics i.e. a clear exposition of a Christian perspective on ethical issues affecting nursing."

- Dorothy Whyte

Ethics and Medicine 1991, 7.1 

"There are interesting introductory chapters which discuss nursing ethics as a distinct and important concern and the arguments in favour of an objective morality are clearly stated."

"This is an interesting book whose arguments deserve to be read and considered, and not only by Roman Catholic nurses."

- Philip Darbyshire

Nursing Times

"Much of the first half of the book is devoted to an explanation of the philosophical basis of ethics. This makes interesting (although not light) reading. ...The later chapters address more practical matters. Several chapters are concerned with problems of life and death. ...Ethics in Nursing Practice provides a different viewpoint than that provided by American ethics writers and, for that reason, deserves a reading."

- Colleen Scanlon

Health Progress Dec 1989

"A scholarly and detailed approach to health care ethics..." " I've no doubt it will appeal to the converted and it deserves to be studied by non-Catholics."

Journal of Applied Philosophy 

"Most of the first half of the book is an account and defence of the natural law as the only true basis for all ethical decision-making and most of the second half engages that foundation with the sorts of ethical problems which arise inescapably and recurrently in nursing practice."

"Fitzpatrick's account of the natural law doctrine is...helpful in its explication and use of the concepts central to that tradition..".

- David Muschamp

Bioethics Vol 4 No1 1990 

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