Ethical Practice Blog

The Principal of Beneficence

Definition:  Compassion; taking positive action to help others; desire to do good; core principle of our patient advocacy. It is a heart of everyday health care practice.

A clinical visit in which I participated with my preceptor, we used the principal of Beneficence for Hispanic  48 years female presents to the clinic with breast pain on her right side. On assessment, I asked her to describe the nature and exact location of pain. She had constant pain in her upper right abdomen that radiates to the back. On palpation, she had tenderness over abdomen with nausea and vomiting, all these symptoms give us the red flag of possible inflammation of gall bladder (Cholecystitis). The patient has explained it is not a breast pain, she needs immediate care by doing an ultrasound or CT scan. The patient was transferred to the emergency department.Sometimes patient’s are not able to decide what is good for them and they fail to recognise what is going on with their body and on that time it is the responsibility of healthcare providers to do good for them. “The process of applying principles to the particular situation should be carried out objectively, with the subject deciding in a calm and detached manner the relative importance of each theoretical principle” (Limentani, 1999).


Limentani, A. E. (1999). The role of ethical principles in health care and the implications for ethical codes. Journal of Medical Ethics, 25(5), 394–398.

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