Bridging Western ethics and Japanese local ethics by listening to nurses' concerns

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19 Scopus citations


Among Japanese nurses ethics is perceived as being distant and unrelated to their practice, although this is filled with ethical concerns and the making of ethical decisions. The reasons for this dissociation are the primacy of western values in modern Japanese health care systems and the suppression of Japanese nurses' indigenous ethical values because of domination by western ethics. A hermeneutic study was conducted to listen to the ethical voices of Japanese nurses. Seven ethical concerns were revealed. Although some of these concerns may seem to share similar values with western ethical principles, the basis for the concerns was unique and rooted in the Japanese cultural value system. The meanings of each concern are explicated in conjunction with related background meanings. Listening and trying to understand these nurses' voices in their own context suggests a way of bridging the gap between abstract and universal ethics and practical and local ethics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-283
Number of pages9
JournalNursing Ethics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cultural values
  • Ethical concerns
  • Hermeneutics
  • Japanese nurses
  • Nursing ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects


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