There has been discussion on how various theories of ethics are similar, how they are different, and how each should be applied. Ethical theory, in general, has been presented in opposition to situation-based ethics and the ethical comportment found in socially based practices. Etiquette is one concept that has entered these debates, only peripherally, as a negative example of what healthcare practice was left with before the development of bioethics theories or as part of a discussion of medical history.11 In contrast to these limited discussions, etiquette can be seen as a way to bring theories of ethics and ethical comportment into dialogue rather than opposition.

Because it is such a familiar requirement, informed consent can be used to illustrate some intersecting ideas about theories of ethics, etiquette, and ethical comportment. Before initiating certain medical procedures, enrolling...

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