Civil Rights

A right is a specific legal, moral, and/or social freedom/privilege that limits others in their conduct toward the holder of the freedom/privilege.  Civil rights are privileges and freedoms granted to and protected for members of a community (in the US, by the Constitution or by various state or federal statutes). 



Similar interests are accorded similar value or importance regardless of whose interests they are.  All individuals have equal value or worth in themselves.  Prejudice views and treats individuals as unequal. 



Justice draws attention to the interests/values of everyone with a stake in the outcome of an action.  Distributive justice envisions all limited resources distributed equally unless an unequal distribution is to the advantage of those most vulnerable or disadvantaged with a stake in the outcome of the distribution.  A just society is one in which all members begin life with hope, live life together with mutual respect, and end life with dignity. 


Organizational Ethics 

Having to do with the ethical justification of systemic decisions and the values reflected in such decisions at the division, department, and/or institutional levels.   


Social Contract 

A contract is a promissory agreement between two or more persons that creates, modifies, or ends a relationship.  A contract is an enforceable agreement that creates legal rights.  Social contract refers to an agreement – whether implicit or explicit – among members of a society to work together in achieving societal interests.  Doing so requires members of a society to limit/sacrifice some of their individual benefits.  The scope of the acknowledged society may vary in size and ethnic plurality. 


Vulnerable Patients (or Patient Groups) 

Patients whose demographic characteristics or circumstances expose them to neglect, misunderstanding, prejudice, exploitation, coercion.