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

Individual work (50%) and group work (50%) over the classes.

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: