An introduction to ethical theory for healthcare assistants

Daniel Rodger, Bruce Blackshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article will explore and summarise the four main ethical theories that have relevance for healthcare assistants. These are: utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics and principlism. Understanding different ethical theories can have a number of significant benefits, which have the potential to shape and inform the care of patients, challenge bad practice and lead staff to become better informed about areas of moral disagreement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-561
JournalBritish Journal of Healthcare Assistants
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017


  • ethical theory
  • utilitarianism
  • deontology
  • virtue ethics
  • principlism
  • nursing ethics
  • bioethics


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