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Ethic of Care

  • By: Marifran Mattson
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Grounded in the experiences of women and emphasizing affective aspects of moral life, the central concern of an ethic of care orientation to health care ethics is the virtue or value of caring, which is manifested in a genuine concern for the well-being of others. Further, an ethic of care counters traditional orientations to ethics in health care that favor objective detachment from patients and promotion of moral universals rather than the practical, unique, contextual qualities of an individual's unique and quite precarious health situation.

Consistent with the Hippocratic Oath and the implicit goals of health care, an ethic of care perspective privileges the patient–provider relationship and highlights systemic forces that support committed relationships. True care involves attunement to the realities of others and to the ...

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