The word ethics is derived from the Greek word ethos, meaning custom or convention, the same meaning as the Latin word mores, from which the terms moral and morality are derived (Thompson et al. 2000). Some texts, for example Thompson et al. (2000), attempt to differentiate between the terms ethics and morals. For them, morals refers to standards of behaviour, whilst ethics refers more speciﬁcally to the study of morals and morality. Others
(Johnstone 2005, Seedhouse 1998) claim that there is no signiﬁcant difference in the words and use them interchangeably. There do seem to be conventions in common usage. We speak of ‘nursing ethics’ rather than ‘nursing morals’. There is probably little to be gained from such detailed debates. In simple terms, ethics, in theory and practice, is concerned about what is good and right; how we ought to live our lives.