Veracity in nursing ethics

Updated April 15, 2017

The word veracity is associated with truthfulness. Veracity in ethics can lend itself to different meanings depending upon the case. Whatever the situation, it is based upon the respect of others.

Ethical Concepts

According to the American Nurse's Association, the main ethical concepts are autonomy, justice, fidelity, beneficence, nonmaleficence, veracity and confidentiality. The code of ethics is a guide for nursing staff to make sound decisions.


Veracity is part of the ethical principles of nursing that requires a nurse to tell the truth. Deception is not part of veracity. Limitations exist such as the case of not informing a patient about their condition if it would produce harm and interfere with recovery.

Veracity Dilemmas

A nurse must make decisions that require moral and ethical principles. For instance, a physician instructs a nurse to give a terminally ill patient a very large dose of narcotic. She must decide if she will tell or conceal the truth. Some dilemmas can require legal advice.

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About the Author

Vickie Van Antwerp began her career as a technical writer for a consulting firm in 1987. Now a freelance writer in her fields of interest, her writings appear on, and in "The Phelps Connection" and "The Storyteller." Van Antwerp holds an Associate of Arts in liberal arts from Gloucester County College and certification as a surgical technologist from Lenoir College.