Beneficence Meaning

What is beneficence in medical ethics? Why is beneficence important in healthcare?

beneficence in medical ethics meaning definition

Beneficence Meaning

Define beneficence: Beneficence is the act of doing something for the good of someone else. In medicine, this ethical principle shows that health care providers have a duty to do good and take positive steps, like preventing harm to the patient or getting rid of it.

The term “principle of beneficence” describes the ethical requirement to prioritize the welfare of others. Doctors & nurses have an obligation to:

  • Prevent and reduce harm, and
  • Weigh advantages and risks.

Beneficence in medical ethics

Beneficence in nursing: Most acts of beneficence are voluntary, but there are times when one is obligated to provide emergency care to someone on the verge of death.

Example of beneficence ethical principle

The following are examples of how the principle of beneficence can be used in real life, though they are not rules.

Protect and fight for other people’s rights

For example: in the surgery case, the nurse must explain to the patient who will undergo surgery that they have the right to know what the surgery is all about, what benefits versus risks the surgery will bring, and that they have the right to know the alternative management aside from surgical intervention.

Stop harm from happening to others.

Putting up the side rails of a restless patient’s bed is an example of preventing harm to others.

Remove any situations that could endanger others.

For example, when caring for patients who are not mentally sound, the following items, such as medicines, sharp objects, and hazardous materials, should be avoided.

Disability aid

For example, guiding and holding the hand of a blind or deaf individual while crossing the street, reading a newspaper or book to someone with poor eyesight, and so on.

Rescue in danger

For example, throwing a lifejacket to a person who is drowning, cheering up a depressed or suicidal person, etc.

Well, I hope you understand about definition of beneficence/beneficence meaning in medical ethics.

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