Acting From the Virtue of Caring in Nursing
van Hooft, Stan
Nursing Ethics. 1999 May; 6(3): 189-201.
The author challenges the recently argued position of Helga Kuhse that caring is merely a preparatory stage to moral action and that impartial, principled thinking is required to make action moral, by suggesting a notion of caring as virtue. If caring is a virtue then acting from that virtue will be acting well. Acting from the virtue of caring involves eight features, which include not only that of being sensitive to, and concerned about, the patient, but also that of being aware of, and sensitive to, the relevant ethical principles. In this way, caring is seen as an overarching quality that gives action its moral character. The moral character of an action does not derive only from its having been performed in the light of principles.