The term ‘ethics’ broadly describes the way in which we look at and understand life, in terms of good and bad or right and wrong. Moral theories are the frameworks we use to justify or clarify our position when we ask ourselves “what should I do in this situation?” or “what is right or wrong for me?” There are many moral theories and there is no one right theory. They converge and often borrow from one another. Three theories will be described here. Consequentialism and Deontology have dominated moral reasoning over the last 300 years; Bioethics, a common morality theory, is a recent theory that dominates current thinking in health care settings.

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