Define the concepts of altruism Essay

Define the concepts of altruism Essay.

Altruism is defined as a selfless concern or act for the welfare and good of others.  An altruistic person is not motivated to do good because of reward or duty.  A purely altruistic person gives without thought to benefits, reward or recognition.

            Autonomy in the general sense is an individual’s capacity to make rational decisions without coercion from any quarter.  In the moral sense, autonomy is the basis of a person’s moral responsibility for his actions.

            Human dignity refers to a person’s state of integrity, righteousness and virtue.

  In another perspective, human dignity means the intrinsic right of people to be accorded unconditional respect without regard for his gender, race, status, and political inclinations.

            Integrity is a concept that refers to a person’s consistency in doing things and in his principles. People with integrity behave in accordance with their beliefs and value system.

            Social justice is an application, rather than administration, of justice in every part of society.

  When there is social justice, every member of society is fairly and equitably treated and receives his fair share of societal benefits.

Describe how each value impacts the practice of a professional nurse.

A professional nurse should have an intrinsic need to help without thought for reward.  By applying altruism to the practice, the nurse becomes a better care giver who truly cares for the well-being of the patient.

            Autonomy impacts the professional nurse in the sense that he is responsible for the life of his patients.  He has to be alert and careful in performing his tasks because it is his moral obligation to make sure the patient’s life is not endangered because of errors.  The nurse must be competent in assessing and performing patient care using knowledge and professional expertise.

            Human dignity affects a professional nurse since he has to respect his patients no matter who he is.  In other words, the nurse cannot discriminate against any patient.

            In the nursing profession, a nurse with integrity acts and performs his duties in accordance to standards and ethics and he does not falter in his duties.

            Social justice requires the professional nurse to do his service to every member of society.  In the same manner, the nurse is required to treat all of his patients fairly and equitably as members of community.

Discuss how student demonstrates values listed above.

            A student must study nursing not because of the perceived financial rewards or job security in the future.  He must study nursing because it his greatest desire to do good.

            Autonomy is shown by a student when he shows responsibility for his studies.  He does not let his peers pressure him into doing activities that are not considered moral and legal.

            Human dignity is demonstrated by a student when he shows respect for all of his classmates, teachers, and other people he comes in contact with.  He does not entertain thoughts of being socially better or inferior to anyone.

            A student of integrity does his coursework consistently and responsibly.  He does not cut classes and does not perform half-heartedly in class.

            Social justice is applicable to a student by not hindering other students to have the privilege of education.  This could mean, refraining from bullying acts and other acts of aggression towards other students.


Morgan, S.H. (2007, September 27).  The Forces of Magnetism: Core Characteristics to Achieve

            Magnet Recognition.  Medscape Online.  Retrieved September 26, 2008, from


Nermin, E., & Altun, I. (1998).  Professional and Personal Values of Nursing in Turkey.  Eubios

            Journal of Asian and International Bioethics, 8, 72-75.

National University.  (2008).  Professional Nursing Values.  Retrieved September 26, 2008, from


Define the concepts of altruism Essay