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Ethics in Dentistry: Part I - Principles and Values

Course Number: 510

Principles in Dentistry and Dental Hygiene

Ethical principles guide the conduct of health care providers by helping to identify, clarify, and justify moral choices. A principle is a general normative standard of conduct that is derived from morality and traditions in health care. These principles are linked to commonly expected behaviours’ because they are based on shared standards of thinking and behaving. In health care, the main normative principles are nonmaleficence, beneficence, autonomy, and justice. These principles are associated with expectations for behavior, and they provide guidelines in dealing with right and wrong actions. These principles provide direction about what should and should not be done in specific situations. Thus, a principle is a general normative standard of conduct, holding that a particular decision or action is true or right and good for all people in all times and all places.4