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Virtues and Values in Health Care


A number of psychologists have endeavored to provide definitions of virtues and values. To begin with, it would be necessary to consider only the definitions provided by distinguished scholars, or psychologists. Socrates defines virtue as the capability of individuals to consider undertaking the right deeds only. Alternatively, values can concisely be termed as those beliefs held by a certain cultural group, whose purpose is to assist in distinguishing the ethically right actions. It is notable that values are enduring as they pass across generations (Peterson & Seligman, 2004). Therefore, this script addresses these two concepts thus providing some valuable information on their various aspects.

Effects of virtues and values on character

The initial section of this document explains the diverse ways in which virtues and values affect an individual’s character. For instance, values are highly applied to persuade and influence other individuals on what they ought to consider doing. In addition, several researchers have resolved into describing values as vehicles for providing human beings with a set of standards aimed at providing guidance in devising appropriate ways of needs satisfaction and the enhancement of one’s self esteem (Peterson & Seligman, 2004). Therefore, it would be correct to state that such beliefs determine an individual’s character since they influence their choices, which eventually influences their character. Character, in plain terms, refers to those actions that an individual depicts while conducting their daily activities. Consequently, when an individual’s belief about a certain endeavor is ethically right, it would eventually result into the depiction of a character that supports better deeds. Conversely, incase an individual is virtuous; it would be possible for them to depict an acceptable character. Other wise, their characters would be unpleasant since they not have such a necessary life ingredient (Peterson & Seligman, 2004).

Different ways of acquiring such traits

Sources have highlighted the existence several approaches useful in acquiring ones values and virtues. In most cases, the young ones acquire their values through pronouncements and rules from their teachers, or parents. It ought not to be a formal procedure of teaching as adults can take the responsibility of enlightening the young ones on what they ought to accept as true. Apart from acquiring such values from the teachings offered by teachers and parents, children also acquire them from some of the behaviors expected of them by adults (Boundas, 2007). Additionally, adults can enhance their children’s values and virtues by using stories with some moral lessons, or values embedded into them. In such a scenario, individuals under consideration are able to relate the lesson learned with their actions, therefore, noting the necessary modifications thus attaining such virtues and values (Boundas, 2007).

Their usefulness in resolving health care ethical dilemmas

It is evident that healthcare providers across the globe continue to encounter a myriad of health care ethical dilemmas. The current research conducted in the field of medicine has pointed out the significance of such traits in resolving such dilemmas. For instance, in enhancing the relationship amid different executives in the health care setting with their stakeholders, it is necessary to portray an uncompromised level of trust. It is only after such trust is present in organizations, that the resolution of such ethical dilemmas can take place. In case of lack of trust among the executive this could result to undermining their ideas as being deficient of integrity. In addition, some beliefs held by a different category of individuals are beneficial as they can aid in convincing the minority thus adhering to what they advocate for thus resolving some of these dilemmas.

The case study

An appropriate case for this part entailed the nurse requesting one of the hospital’s workers to assist in performing abortion related activities. Mrs. Phelps was the name of this worker. One day, the nursing supervisor, requested her to assist in executing abortion related activities that she was highly against (Fry, Veatch & Taylor, 2011). She regarded abortion as being morally evil, and could not participate in such an undertaking. She argued that her religion respected human life thus the supervisor eventually excused and replaced her with a different individual. Although the doctor strives to convince her that a fetus in its early age is lifeless, Mrs. Phelps holds a different stand on this issue, thus the conflict. The fact that she is a devout catholic constrains her to have a different perception about the whole issue. On the contrary, the doctor portrays a different perception about the abortion. He bickers that the benefits associated with the act surpass the losses, and, therefore, supports it. He, therefore, holds onto entirely different virtues and values to those of Mrs. Phelps. The value depicted in this scenario is the respect for human life, and among the virtues is the integrity (Fry, Veatch & Taylor, 2011).


In conclusion, it is apparent that virtues along with values play crucial roles in different settings. children acquire these values and virtues through education, where by parents at home and teachers at school endeavor to provide basic knowledge on them. The process of acquiring these values is continuous, and it commences during childhood. In such a time, role models and other written materials are significant in influencing their growth. It is notable that both values and virtues affect the growth of an individual’s character. These traits are significant in solving most of dilemmas present in a variety of organizations.


Boundas, C. (2007). The Edinburgh companion to twentieth-century philosophies. Scotland, UK: Edinburgh University Press.

Fry, S., Veatch, R., & Taylor, C. (2011). Case studies in nursing ethics. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: a handbook and classification. Washington, DC: Oxford University Press.

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ApeGrade. 2022. "Virtues and Values in Health Care." May 3, 2022. https://apegrade.com/virtues-and-values-in-health-care/.


ApeGrade. (2022) 'Virtues and Values in Health Care'. 3 May.

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