The author distinguishes two significant characteristics of a profession, ‘professional service’ and ‘sense of responsibility’, and relates these to the obligations of the professional.

Ethical concepts, and the professional code of conduct, are discussed in the context of recent events and publications in the United Kingdom. They are also put into historical perspective, acknowledging the influence of over 3000 years of Greek and Christian heritage.

The author concludes that the professional ethic in nursing is a way of life.