Principlism in paramedicine: An examination of applied healthcare ethics

Phillip Ebbs, Hamish Carver, Dominique Moritz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Principlism is arguably the dominant recognised ethical framework used within medicine and other Western health professions today, including the UK paramedic profession. It concerns the application of four principles: autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice. This article examines the theory and practice of principlism, and shows how it is used in daily paramedic practice and decision-making. Practical guidance on applying ethics in paramedicine, illustrated with scenarios, is also provided. This is the first in a series of three articles on paramedic ethics. This series complements the Journal of Paramedic Practice's concurrent CPD˚series on paramedic law in the UK. Later articles in this series will examine the complex ethical issues that can accompany end-of-life care, and ethical considerations relating to treatment of vulnerable persons including children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Paramedic Practice: the clinical monthly for emergency care professionals
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 02 Aug 2020


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