Educating nurses for their future role in bioethics.


The emerging new multidisciplinary and crosscultural field of bioethics will require sensitive, open-minded professionals to take the lead in hospital ethics, in genetic counselling, and in the teaching of bioethics to students in nursing, medicine and the basic sciences. Nurses with ward experience who return to university to gain an MA or PhD in bioethics are eminently suited for this leadership role, for they may be more likely than physicians to study for a liberal education to supplement their professional knowledge; their first-hand experience in nursing is an antidote to the pointless subtleties into which philosophical ethics so often degenerates. When teaching ethics to nurses one must remember that, while some will simply use this knowledge in their own clinical work, others will go on to be teachers and researchers in bioethics. Their training must therefore be broad and interdisciplinary, including real substantive philosophy (as opposed to philosophical ethics), as well as mystical bioethics, religious law, ethics of genetic counselling, clinical approaches to ethical pseudo problems, research skills, etc.

Cite this paper

@article{Leavitt1996EducatingNF, title={Educating nurses for their future role in bioethics.}, author={Frank J. Leavitt}, journal={Nursing ethics}, year={1996}, volume={3 1}, pages={39-52} }