Professional Ethics and Deontology


To know the fundamental concepts dealing with human action, the constituting elements of moral life, the axial structures of moral conscience and the main contemporary ethics theories.

To identify moral dilemmas, specifically those more prevalent in the professional exercise of the nutricionist when providing health care.

To develop a process of deliberation and decision making that, putting into practice the acquired theoretical knowledge, promotes the best solution on a technical perspective and in compliance with the best ethical practices.

To form moral conscience of professional practice.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Prof.ª Doutora Conceição Calhau


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language






Brito, J. H. Silveira de, coord., Ética das Profissões, Publicações da Faculdade de Filosofia, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Braga, 2007.

Canto-Sperber, M. (dir.), Dictionnaire d'éthique et de philosophie morale, Paris, P.U.F., 1996.

Durand, G., Introdução Geral à Bioética, S. Paulo, São Camilo/Edições Loyola,  2003

Hottois, Gilbert e Missa, Jean-Noël, Nova Enciclopédia de Bioética, Lisboa, Instituto Piaget, 2003.

Patrão Neves, M., Osswald, W., (coord.s), Bioética Simples, Lisboa, Verbo/Babel, 2014

M. Patrão Neves. O Admirável Horizonte da BioÉtica. Lisboa, Fundação Luso-Americana para o desenvolvimento e Editora Glaciar, 2016

M. Patrão Neves; Walter Osswald. Bioética Simples. 2ª edição revista e actualizada, Lisboa, Verbo/Babel, 2014



Ordem dos Nutricionistas - 

Conselho Nacional de Ética para as Ciências da Vida - 

Associação Portuguesa de Bioética - 

Teaching method

Expositive. Presentation of cases and problem solving.

Evaluation method

Written test (60%) and individual or group work over the theoretical and practical classes (40%).

Subject matter

Fundamental concepts dealing with human action: ethics, moral, law, professional ethics (codes of professional ethics) and applied ethics (from the professional to the patient).

Elements constituting moral life: principles, norms, virtues, rights and duties.

Axial structures of moral conscience: teleological, deontological and procedural.

Main Contemporary Ethics theories: principlism, utilitarianism and consequentialism, communitarianism and contract contractualism, discussion. 

Ethics in research and social responsibility.

Portuguese legislation on individual and collective rights and duties. The ethics of prioritization of public health resources. Social responsibility concept and practice of a Nutritionist. Legal and normative foundations of the profession.

The ethical dimension in the formation and performance of a Nutritionist. Technical responsibility of a Nutritionist in different scenarios of professional practice.

Main ethical issues in food and nutrition sciences. 


Programs where the course is taught: