Nursing Ethics pp 156-173 | Cite as

The supererogatory nurse

  • Steven D. Edwards


In this final chapter, the discussion is focused once more upon the moral principles discussed in this book. Although the discussion is somewhat abstract, it is an example of the way in which the principle-based approach can be utilised to structure issues within nursing ethics, and to aid clear thought about them. The chapter begins by employing the principles to help to distinguish ordinary from extraordinary moral standards. This will then help to identify a class of actions which can be described as supererogatory (roughly, as will be seen, these are actions which are for the benefit of others, but which expose the actor to significant risk of harm). The question of the extent to which nurses can be said to be called upon, or even obliged to undertake such actions, will then be considered.


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Copyright information

© Steven D. Edwards 1996

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  • Steven D. Edwards

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