Morals: Standards of conduct that distinguish right from wrong.Moral Development: The process by which individuals internalize standards of right and wrong conduct.Moral Obligations: Duties that are based in ETHICS, rather than in law.Ethical Theory: A philosophically coherent set of propositions (for example, utilitarianism) which attempts to provide general norms for the guidance and evaluation of moral conduct. (from Beauchamp and Childress, Principles of Biomedical Ethics, 4th ed)Virtues: Character traits that are considered to be morally praiseworthy. (Bioethics Thesaurus)Ethical Analysis: The use of systematic methods of ethical examination, such as CASUISTRY or ETHICAL THEORY, in reasoning about moral problems.Personhood: The state or condition of being a human individual accorded moral and/or legal rights. Criteria to be used to determine this status are subject to debate, and range from the requirement of simply being a human organism to such requirements as that the individual be self-aware and capable of rational thought and moral agency.Judgment: The process of discovering or asserting an objective or intrinsic relation between two objects or concepts; a faculty or power that enables a person to make judgments; the process of bringing to light and asserting the implicit meaning of a concept; a critical evaluation of a person or situation.Principle-Based Ethics: An approach to ethics that focuses on theories of the importance of general principles such as respect for autonomy, beneficence/nonmaleficence, and justice.Ethics, Medical: The principles of professional conduct concerning the rights and duties of the physician, relations with patients and fellow practitioners, as well as actions of the physician in patient care and interpersonal relations with patient families.Retrospective Moral Judgment: The application of current standards of morality to past actions, institutions, or persons.Beginning of Human Life: The point at which religious ensoulment or PERSONHOOD is considered to begin.Ethics, Nursing: The principles of proper professional conduct concerning the rights and duties of nurses themselves, their patients, and their fellow practitioners, as well as their actions in the care of patients and in relations with their families.Social Values: Abstract standards or empirical variables in social life which are believed to be important and/or desirable.Personal Autonomy: Self-directing freedom and especially moral independence. An ethical principle holds that the autonomy of persons ought to be respected. (Bioethics Thesaurus)Bioethical Issues: Clusters of topics that fall within the domain of BIOETHICS, the field of study concerned with value questions that arise in biomedicine and health care delivery.Value of Life: The intrinsic moral worth ascribed to a living being. (Bioethics Thesaurus)Bioethics: A branch of applied ethics that studies the value implications of practices and developments in life sciences, medicine, and health care.Life: The state that distinguishes organisms from inorganic matter, manifested by growth, metabolism, reproduction, and adaptation. It includes the course of existence, the sum of experiences, the mode of existing, or the fact of being. Over the centuries inquiries into the nature of life have crossed the boundaries from philosophy to biology, forensic medicine, anthropology, etc., in creative as well as scientific literature. (Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed; Dr. James H. Cassedy, NLM History of Medicine Division)Human Characteristics: The fundamental dispositions and traits of humans. (Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed)Philosophy, MedicalEthical Relativism: The philosophical view that conceptions of truth and moral values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups holding them. (from American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed)Philosophy: A love or pursuit of wisdom. A search for the underlying causes and principles of reality. (Webster, 3d ed)Beneficence: The state or quality of being kind, charitable, or beneficial. (from American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed). The ethical principle of BENEFICENCE requires producing net benefit over harm. (Bioethics Thesaurus)Ethics, Clinical: The identification, analysis, and resolution of moral problems that arise in the care of patients. (Bioethics Thesaurus)Conscience: The cognitive and affective processes which constitute an internalized moral governor over an individual's moral conduct.Metaphor: The application of a concept to that which it is not literally the same but which suggests a resemblance and comparison. Medical metaphors were widespread in ancient literature; the description of a sick body was often used by ancient writers to define a critical condition of the State, in which one corrupt part can ruin the entire system. (From Med Secoli Arte Sci, 1990;2(3):abstract 331)Eugenics: The attempt to improve the PHENOTYPES of future generations of the human population by fostering the reproduction of those with favorable phenotypes and GENOTYPES and hampering or preventing BREEDING by those with "undesirable" phenotypes and genotypes. The concept is largely discredited. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)Social Responsibility: The obligations and accountability assumed in carrying out actions or ideas on behalf of others.Human Rights: The rights of the individual to cultural, social, economic, and educational opportunities as provided by society, e.g., right to work, right to education, and right to social security.Social Justice: An interactive process whereby members of a community are concerned for the equality and rights of all.Euthanasia: The act or practice of killing or allowing death from natural causes, for reasons of mercy, i.e., in order to release a person from incurable disease, intolerable suffering, or undignified death. (from Beauchamp and Walters, Contemporary Issues in Bioethics, 5th ed)Ethicists: Persons trained in philosophical or theological ethics who work in clinical, research, public policy, or other settings where they bring their expertise to bear on the analysis of ethical dilemmas in policies or cases. (Bioethics Thesaurus)Bible: The book composed of writings generally accepted by Christians as inspired by God and of divine authority. (Webster, 3d ed)Biomedical Enhancement: The use of technology-based interventions to improve functional capacities rather than to treat disease.Guilt: Subjective feeling of having committed an error, offense or sin; unpleasant feeling of self-criticism. These result from acts, impulses, or thoughts contrary to one's personal conscience.Theology: The study of religion and religious belief, or a particular system or school of religious beliefs and teachings (from online Cambridge Dictionary of American English, 2000 and WordNet: An Electronic Lexical Database, 1997)Paternalism: Interference with the FREEDOM or PERSONAL AUTONOMY of another person, with justifications referring to the promotion of the person's good or the prevention of harm to the person. (from Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 1995); more generally, not allowing a person to make decisions on his or her own behalf.Codes of Ethics: Systematic statements of principles or rules of appropriate professional conduct, usually established by professional societies.Engineering: The practical application of physical, mechanical, and mathematical principles. (Stedman, 25th ed)Euthanasia, Passive: Failing to prevent death from natural causes, for reasons of mercy by the withdrawal or withholding of life-prolonging treatment.Ethics, Professional: The principles of proper conduct concerning the rights and duties of the professional, relations with patients or consumers and fellow practitioners, as well as actions of the professional and interpersonal relations with patient or consumer families. (From Stedman, 25th ed)Religion and ScienceEmbryo Research: Experimentation on, or using the organs or tissues from, a human or other mammalian conceptus during the prenatal stage of development that is characterized by rapid morphological changes and the differentiation of basic structures. In humans, this includes the period from the time of fertilization to the end of the eighth week after fertilization.Empathy: An individual's objective and insightful awareness of the feelings and behavior of another person. It should be distinguished from sympathy, which is usually nonobjective and noncritical. It includes caring, which is the demonstration of an awareness of and a concern for the good of others. (From Bioethics Thesaurus, 1992)Patient Advocacy: Promotion and protection of the rights of patients, frequently through a legal process.Jehovah's Witnesses: Members of a religious denomination founded in the United States during the late 19th century in which active evangelism is practiced, the imminent approach of the millennium is preached, and war and organized government authority in matters of conscience are strongly opposed (from American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed). Jehovah's Witnesses generally refuse blood transfusions and other blood-based treatments based on religious belief.Decision Making: The process of making a selective intellectual judgment when presented with several complex alternatives consisting of several variables, and usually defining a course of action or an idea.Dehumanization: The process by which a person or group of persons comes to be regarded or treated as lacking in human qualities.Altruism: Consideration and concern for others, as opposed to self-love or egoism, which can be a motivating influence.Double Effect Principle: Guideline for determining when it is morally permissible to perform an action to pursue a good end with knowledge that the action will also bring about bad results. It generally states that, in cases where a contemplated action has such double effect, the action is permissible only if: it is not wrong in itself; the bad result is not intended; the good result is not a direct causal result of the bad result; and the good result is "proportionate to" the bad result. (from Solomon, "Double Effect," in Becker, The Encyclopedia of Ethics, 1992)Wedge Argument: An assertion that an action apparently unobjectionable in itself would set in motion a train of events leading ultimately to an undesirable outcome. (From Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 1995)Postmodernism: A late 20th-century philosophical approach or style of cultural analysis that seeks to reveal the cultural or social construction of concepts conventionally assumed to be natural or universal. (from E.R. DuBose, The Illusion of Trust: Toward a Medical Theological Ethics in the Postmodern Age, Kluwer, 1995)