Humanism is set philosophical reflection, as an end and higher value in the world, thereby motivating a focused interest in man and in all that is human. The greatest concern of man should be the man himself, becoming the ideal develops in each individual human. Overall humanism is defined as the interest centred attitude of man, in the full development and welfare of what man is, from the perspectives biological, psychological, social, cultural and spiritual.  Therefore, the help that man get welfare aspects referred to above will be made and more human, or as some philosophers have called the process “humanization”. This man requires ethical behaviour, to practice certain values such as justice, freedom, life, among others. This is the very nature of the human, as appropriate uses of reason and judgment. Practice is recognized humanism itself, the self reflected in the other person. Each man will be better if we recognize the dignity of others. The humanist is one who understands life and understands the like. Humanism implies respect for the man’s own inner freedom to think, feel and believe (Duchscher, 2000). This paper discusses the relationship between humanism and nursing and provides a detail explanation on how one has affected the other.

Scientific advances in recent years are the result of intelligence man to achieve well-being and improve the quality of life of mankind. However not all of humanity benefits from advances to exist, yet, major social and economic inequalities that keep millions of people without adequate provision of basic needs such as food, housing, drinking water, environmental hygiene, primary health care, prevention diseases, education, work and leisure to name the most basic. In the health area, the results of the advances in biotechnology are aimed at improve the quality of life and quality of animal and plant products benefit man. In the last years of the previous millennium developed research described in which the molecular structure of DNA, basis for further research into the human genetic code with everything involved. This will prevent, control and treat some diseases. The Genetic engineering will bring unimaginable benefits to humans without dangers forget deviations and manipulations in the physical, intellectual and psychological human being (Parker, 1993).

Since the appearance of man on the planet, it became necessary to keep their species by testing it through generations, has accumulated knowledge, skills, rituals, customs and practices handed down from generation to generation, elements that today are specified in some scientific disciplines such as medicine and nursing, blamed along with others, to the care of human health. Nursing has evolved dramatically and spectacularly as a scientific discipline, be accepted by the nurses themselves and others who contribute their work, that this profession has two dimensions: science and application of scientific discoveries to the systems of care, or what is the same, the practice of nursing. Accepting that their practice is based primarily on its own set of knowledge emanating from science, is perhaps one of the greatest achievements (CASTLE, FERGUSON, & HUGHES, 2009).

The ethical dilemma arises from the existence of possibilities and negative expectations and positive. Science without ethics is blind and science without ethics is impractical, on the other part human values cannot be separated from biological facts. Bioethics is, in any case, a discipline in construction, so we need interdisciplinary dialogue to present the perspective of nursing that will help broaden and deepen the meaning of all are those aspects that have to do with human life, with their care and health care. Nursing cannot marginalize the problems that affect the lives human, social and ecological ones, such as hunger, war, violence, emigration and immigration, drugs, alcohol, unemployment, prostitution, AIDS, stress, anxiety, in short all the problems related to the development and affect the quality of human life and the humanization of the interrelations (Woodrow, 2006).

  1. Discussion


Humanism is a concept defined by philosophy and this is an attitude that tries to place special emphasis on the dignity and worth of the human person, regarding it as a rational being able to do well and to find the truth. It is also a concept used to define the cultural and literary movements present in the Europe of the fourteenth and fifteenth reborn in the study of classical Greece and Rome, which highlights the value of classic over his importance in the Christian context. Humanism is formed as a movement, originating in Italy in the late middle Ages, when such important figures as Dante and Francesco Petrarca, among others, made great contributions to the discovery and preservation of the classics. Other major contributed to the formation of this movement as it was Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, who through his “Prayer” managed to capture the humanistic ideals centred on human dignity (Moore, 2009).

The expansion of this movement took even stronger thanks to the spread of classical texts, which was made possible by the innovative use of the printing press in the fifteenth century after the nobility and higher clergy contributed very significantly in the compilation and translation of classical texts in question. Humanism had a strong impact on literature and art, however, was expanding and entering countries like England where their influences come to take an important part in both education and theology, settling as a major cause of the Reform. It was in this country where the diffusion of the humanist movement was led by major educational institutions like the famous universities of Oxford and Cambridge (Bevis, 1986).


The only truly saved humanism was a humanism that sought to safeguard the realization of man by way of moral and spiritual perfection, on a path of perfection in speech, in words and in communicating, for perfection in the development of a realistic mind, agile, skilled, and the development of a deep sense fundamentally of human continuity and history (McConnell, 1998). Humanism advocated, against ecclesiastical canon prose, imitating the Late Latin the Holy Fathers and employed the simple vocabulary and syntax of biblical texts translated, studies humanist, a man full training in all aspects based on sources Greek Latin classic, many then sought in monastic libraries and then discovered in monasteries throughout the European continent. In a few cases these texts were translated from the work of among others Averroes and the tireless pursuit of humanistic manuscripts by scholar’s monks in monasteries throughout Europe (Kim & Kollak, 2005).

Humanism and Nursing

The emergence of humanity and its further development was rigged accumulation of knowledge, skills and practices that were transmitted from generation to generation, and that with the passage of time gave rise to the sciences that have dealt with maintaining human health, including medicine and nursing. At each stage of development of society changes have taken place in the lives and work of the people, arising from the different social and production relations, which have a direct influence on the health care and health status society. In addressing one facet of health as is the curative actions and persons associated with them, it is observed that nursing has occupied an important place in the development of health sciences (CASTLE, FERGUSON, & HUGHES, 2009).

For men, the disease ceased to be a punishment from a higher being, the human body is considered the object of intensive study Florence Nightingale, 1820-1910 assume the role the founder of professional nursing; believed that the role of nurses should be to follow the orders and instructions of doctors and not make independent decisions. Humanism and Nursing are built from the history, from professional practice, from the philosophy of science; nursing must define its own object of study, and discovered as a structured activity, from the need for care, care in sickness, weakness, old age, any child or helplessness (Bastable, 2008).

Some of the main trends in humanists are characterized by the insistence the notion of person as opposed to the individual, while others preach the idea of open society as opposed to closed society. A third group highlights the fundamentally social nature of the human. In many cases it is highlighted that man is not reduced to one element or a function, but a whole. The humanist conceptualizations person-centred in its vision of being single, integral, transcendental, let establish its relationship with the sciences that are responsible for the care of man, of human life, health (McConnell, 1998).

Humanists of all philosophical proclaim the dignity of man, his freedom and equal rights to enjoy including welfare, peace, progress and mutual respect for the living; being in this framework Nursing thrives to maintain their performances humanization. This is where there is the reflection and conclusion: if nursing is subject their knowledge and praxis, man, life care, health care of the person, and human interactions used in practice, to consider and cultivate as a human science.

For Plato the three humanistic values ​​of life are: truth, goodness and belleza. This clear what is or what should be humanism, based on two principles fundamental, one, everyone has the right to life” (Statement Universal Human Rights), to respect, defend and promote life, as human and ethical duty to be man for himself and for others. Respect human life is one of the primary axles on which has developed the ethical conscience of society. Secondly, the need for nursing care is universal” from these two principles, taking into account the role of the nurse is oriented maintenance and health care, which is certainly the essence of the protection of human life and is an object of knowledge, of knowledge and do the ill. It is clear that care is the key activity that defines the nursing work (Parker, 1993).

In the past 20 years, the profession has evolved dramatically as a scientific discipline. From the point of view is generally accepted that nursing has two dimensions: science and application of scientific discoveries into practice. The nurse had been considered as a practical discipline, and perhaps the greatest success achieved is the emerging acceptance of the idea that his practice is based primarily on its own body of knowledge derived from science. Compared with other developing science, nursing science is in the early stages of scientific development. Until the late 50s it was rare in the literature use the term nursing science, arising from considerations about the knowledge base for nursing practice is inadequate and incomplete and is focused on developing a scientific basis for such performance, the theory was part of nursing staff development in education, administration and professional practice (Mulholland, 2008). With the change, the profession now has the opportunity to achieve professional status both wanted. The scientific and technical development of nursing professionals in Cuba, has allowed higher levels of awareness, which reflect humanist values ​​of the profession, based on the understanding and appreciation of each patient as a starting point for treatment. This work is based on humanistic values ​​of the profession and show this projection is proposed in this humanistic nursing care process (Bevis, 1986).


Humanism is defined as the defense of humanity, of all dimensions, from all its complexity, from this point of view and because nursing care have to do with humans, cannot decouple good practice of taking care of human values. Nursing feeds on other sciences and of itself, builds skills, intellectual skills, professional habits, experiences, and information about work in any of its four major profiles: support, management, teaching and research. Bioethics is the systematic study of human behavior in the field of life sciences and health care to the extent that this behavior is examined in the light of moral values.

The Nursing Process, and forces us to reconsider the ethical principles, because in each of its stages we must consider that (Woodrow, 2006):

  • The validity of the ethics of care has to do with the value of privacy of the individual as unique, making decisions from their own ideals, its myths, its symbols and its own view of reality.
  • In the relationship between the caregiver and the care it provides for the recognition of human beings as such, in the other person, as projected in each other open and communicative concerns the human itself.

So reach for bioethics everything that goes beyond the particular interests, what only humans want and what everyone wants for their condition. The knowledge revolution associated with health science, practice and technologies employed, brought new type problems and breaks with prevailing moral codes. This phenomenon calls us to reflect the way that society has taken all the scientific and technical advances never before experienced and reported with the speed of these times, in which aspects of humanism, moral and ethical values ​​are being overlooked. Therefore, it is necessary to ponder ethics act (Nelson, 1995).


I believe that the nursing is the profession in which love, responsibility, humanism, honesty and communication are essential values, acting regulators of a competent professional. They are reflected by each person differently depending on their experiences, interests, ability, does this mean that the values ​​are not always recognized by society as the most important are assimilated by its members. This is because the development of the individual values ​​is not linear and mechanical, but involves a complex process whereby staff humans in interaction with the social history which are developing their own values. Since its inception, the nursing profession has been a humanistic discipline, independent socio-political system, economic or cultural where insert your practice.

Perhaps it has been said repeatedly that the primary responsibility of nurses is to help the patient to carry out its program of regular life, enabling it to conduct activities that regularly practiced alone. It also helps the execution of those tasks that make life more than just a growing process, namely: social sharing, learning, recreation and those who somehow can be considered productive. However, I think that as being a part of the nursing profession, I help to maintain or create a health regimen that the patient requires. In the exercise of the profession of nursing experience is often the need of knowledge, skills, relational and emotional competence to handle with ease and effectively and make this relationship is a collaboration tool.

As per my understanding the nursing practice has been changing due to a number of changes in the global context by way gross examining several factors, among which may be mentioned the globalization of the economy, the casualization of users, job insecurity to the physical and mental, that have severely beaten in health systems and therefore the union workers in especially nurses. I believe that these changes have caused confusion and uncertainty in mankind affects the part of the spirit of the nurse who could still cause conflicts in his being, till you get to question their professional identity in this complex world of care health. Humanism has become an important part of the nursing world because the nurse has the “privilege” of being with people who experience the diversity of meanings of man in time and space, of all ages from birth to death. They have the opportunity to go wing search of the meaning of life, suffering and death, but together with other nurses and their patients.




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