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Saint Thomas Aquinas: A Review of Aquinas’s Theory and Ethical Approaches. Roline Campbell and Heather Sloan. Saint Thomas Aquinas 1225-1274. Summary of St. Thomas Aquinas. Born in 1225 at family castle in Roccasecca.
B. Cardinal Virtues
1.) Prudence- the right use of reason to guide moral actions
2.) Justice- giving what is due to each person
- Cumulative justice- trade between people
- Distributive justice- relations between community and individual
3.) Fortitude- the good of the individual (actions consistent with reason)
4.) Temperance- a curb of natural passions
Four types of law:
1.) Eternal Law- the rational basis for order among creation according to God
2.) Natural Law- the human participation in eternal law; the degree to which order actually exists
3.) Human Law- when natural law is drawn up in the form of a civic law to guide society
4.) Divine Law- the rule and measure of all virtue
Per Mark Murphy (2008) in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
To summarize: the paradigmatic natural law view holds that (1) the natural law is given by God; (2) it is naturally authoritative over all human beings; and (3) it is naturally knowable by all human beings. Further, it holds that (4) the good is prior to the right, that (5) right action is action that responds nondefectively to the good, that (6) there are a variety of ways in which action can be defective with respect to the good, and that (7) some of these ways can be captured and formulated as general rules.
“Within the discipline of nursing, no matter how speculative the inquiry, the end is practice.”
“The decision and ability to apply principles within a particular situation is the art of practice”.
Section 6.1 from the ANA’s Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements in 2001, is of particular interest and states
Virtues are habits of character that predispose persons to meet their moral obligations; that is, to do what is right. Excellences are habits of character that predispose a person to do a particular job or task well. Virtues such as wisdom, honesty, and courage are habits or attributes of the morally good person. Excellences such as compassion, patience, and skill are habits of character of the morally good nurse. For the nurse, virtues and excellences are those habits that affirm and promote the values of human dignity, well-being, respect, health, independence, and other values central to nursing. Both virtues and excellences, as aspects of moral character, can be either nurtured by the environment in which the nurse practices or they can be diminished or thwarted. All nurses have a responsibility to create, maintain, and contribute to environments that support the growth of virtues and excellences and enable nurses to fulfill their ethical obligations.
American Nurses Association. (2001). Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements. Retrieved from http://nursingworld.org/default.aspx
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