Moral Orientation of Elderly Persons: Considering Ethical Dilemmas in Health Care
Pinch, W.J. Ellenchild
Parsons, Mary E.
Nursing Ethics. 1997 Sep; 4(5): 380-393.
Knowledge about moral development and elderly persons is very limited. A hermeneutical interpretative study was conducted with healthy elderly persons (n = 20) in order to explore and describe their moral orientation based on the paradigms of justice (Kohlberg) and care (Gilligan). The types of moral reasoning, dominance, alignment and orientation were determined. All but one participant included both types of reasoning when discussing an ethical conflict. None of the men's moral reasoning was dominated by caring, but justice dominated the reasoning of four women. The implications for ethical decision-making and future research are discussed.
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