Ethical dilemmas are a bit like an artist's brush strokes, no two are exactly alike, yet there are consistent fundamentals underlying each one, eventually coalescing into a coherent image. Ethics codes provide the fundamentals for decision making, but like the artist, the health care provider uniquely applies color, texture, and perceptual form to the paper or canvas differently each time. This chapter shows how ethical principles and operationalized standards get played out in the health care environment. It describes the moral fabric that is ethics, and, then, focuses on one of the most straightforward yet complicated concepts in contemporary health care: the principle of respect for autonomy. The chapter overviews a primary concept that illustrates this principle, the patient's fundamental right to self-determination. The discussion then branches into the realm of current issues with a discussion of ethical considerations bound to the ongoing debate regarding health care reform and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.