Principles of Healthcare Ethics

Principles of Healthcare Ethics

The four principles of healthcare are commonly used in the English language but they carry a unique and different meaning when it comes to healthcare. Thomas Beauchamp and James Childress created these ethical principles, which were meant to ensure optimal patient care (Veatch., 2016).

The united states have given more focus on autonomy among the four principles; hence, it has been taken as the most important compared to the rest of the principles.

The principles include the following; autonomy, which means the patient retains the right of control of their body. Healthcare professionals can only provide advice, but decisions remain with the patient. Beneficence states that everything that should be done to the patient by the healthcare provider should be done with the interest and before of the patient. Non-maleficence, on the other hand, states that the decisions made by the medical practitioners should not be harmful to the individual patent, the people of the society and justice states that there should be fairness in handling all the patients in terms of treatment and distribution of resources (Butts, & Rich., 2019)

These principles have guided healthcare in decision making, especially which involves ethical issues. It has been received and widely accepted across in healthcare. Among all the four principles, none is superior to the other, however, when it comes to ranking in respect to which is more important is determined by situations. I would start with autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. The Christian biblical view in the ranks of these principles is quite different. According to their order, non-maleficence will come first followed by respect for autonomy, beneficence, and then justice.


Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. L. (2019). Nursing ethics. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Veatch, R. M. (2016). The basics of bioethics. Routledge.