Caritas - Caring as an ethical conduct

Department of Caring Science, Faculty of Social and Caring Sciences, Abo Academy University, Vaasa, Finland.
Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences (Impact Factor: 0.89). 10/2008; 22(4):662-7. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2007.00578.x
Source: PubMed


The aim of this theoretical study is to describe and analyze caritas by seeking the primary source for this phenomenon, which is used as a central motive in Eriksson's Caritative Theory. The search for the origin and the essence of caritas by critical analysis will create an opportunity to assimilate new meaning into the practice of caring science. This new meaning, based on interpretation, will also act as a solid base for the creation of future theories within caring science. Although this study does not intend to create a new theory for this domain, an attempt is made to shed light on new understandings to establish a deeper foundation for further discussion. Therefore, the methodological basis used is the hermeneutics phenomenology described by Nygren. The starting points refer to three basic assumptions, the former two of which present the core of caring science as an academic discipline; the latter borrows from philosophical creation theology. Therefore, the path for analyzing caritas and the significance of developing a deeper and meaningful understanding are based on the writing of Eriksson as well as through historical and philosophical sources from Judaism, such as the Bible and the Talmud. The results of this study have introduced a new meaning and created a 'space' for caritas. These results are related to the notion of attitudes, being driven by curiosity and questioning, that link faith and scientific investigation. Above all, these attitudes form a central motive profoundly linked to love. Hence, caritas as an attitude turns the concept of care into a more ethical act. However, these new understandings have given rise to ethical questions that obligate consideration towards further study.

25 Reads
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Nurses have already for decades tried to develop their work to be based on scientific knowledge and ethics. Caring has long roots in nursing. Aims: The aim of this article is to analyze the phenomenon of caring in nursing: to identify of which elements caring (loving caring, love for fellow humans) in nursing is constructed according to nursing students. Methodology: The research subjects are Finnish nursing students (N = 20), who already had experience and knowledge of nursing theory. They were asked to write their views of the meaning of caring and of what kinds of features it consists. The data was analyzed with the inductive qualitative content analysis. Results: This article describes and discusses the features and factors of caring in nursing students' opinions during studies, and creates a model of caring. Conclusions: This article pays attention to how learning about caring and caring in nursing could be improved during nursing education as the most essential element in nursing is the sensibility to feel love for one's neighbor.
    Preview · Article ·
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to use ethical arguments to strengthen the relationship between the concepts of legitimacy and evaluation. The analysis is based on the ethics of Levinas and Buber and is motivated by a sense of responsibility using dialogical ideology as a mediator. The main questions in this study consider the following: Does caring science as an independent academic discipline have the moral responsibility to develop a theory for evaluating the quality of basic research? and Will such a quality evaluation theory have a reasonable probability of introducing legitimization into caring science? On an ethical level, this study introduces a meaningful interaction inspired by social demands and is linked to the concept of research justification. Legitimization turns from an abstract idea to an achievable entity by an act. The act of evaluation has the likelihood of delegating legitimacy and empowers the foundation of caring science, which in turn will become a cornerstone of nursing. At this stage there is no intention to develop an evaluation theory, rather to create a meaningful discussion for the future development of an ethics-based theory.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2010 · Nursing Ethics
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A growing number of middle-aged people are engaged in informal care of their parents while employed. To provide support as employers, co-workers or staff, health care professionals need insight into the experiences of people managing these responsibilities. To elucidate the experience of providing informal care to an ageing parent while managing the responsibilities of a working life. Narrative interviews were performed with 11 persons with experience of the phenomenon. Transcribed interviews were analysed with phenomenological hermeneutics. ETHICS: Informed consent was given prior to the interviews. The study was approved by a research ethics committee. Providing informal care to an ageing parent while also pursuing a working life implies seeking balance: a balance between providing support to the parent's needs and one's responsibilities at work. Being employed supports this balance as it provides both fulfilment and refuge. Being capable of managing both roles grants a sense of satisfaction, supporting one's sense of balance in life. The balance can be supported by sharing the responsibility of caring for the ageing parent with others. Despite perceived saturation and an effort to provide for the possibility to consider internal consistency, the findings should be considered as a contribution to the understanding of the phenomenon, as experienced by individuals in their life world. It is essential to recognise the impact that providing care for an ageing parent may have on the lives of a growing number of people, particularly if they have employment responsibilities. Acknowledgement by others supports one's ability to attain balance; as co-workers and managers, we can acknowledge the efforts of an informal caregiver and as health care staff recognise the valuable contribution made by people in mid-life who provide informal care for their ageing parents.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2011 · Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Show more