Katie Erikson's caring theories. Part 2. The theory of caritative caring ethics and the theory of evidence

Ingegerd Bergbom, Lisbet Nyström, Dagfinn Nåden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
180 Downloads (Pure)


In this article, Katie Eriksson's theory of caritative caring ethics and the theory of evidence, are described. Both theories are anchored in caritas, that is love, mercy and compassion. The theory of caritative caring ethics was first described by Eriksson in 1995, where seven assumptions or basic categories were elaborated. These were: the human being's dignity, the care relationship, invitation, responsibility, virtue, obligation or duty, and good and evil. Eriksson's theoretical contribution is that she makes a distinction between caring and nursing ethics, between inner and external ethics, and between natural and clinical ethics. Concerning the theory of evidence, Eriksson claims that a multidimensional scientific view of evidence in caring that focuses on the patient's world is necessary and vital. To see, realise, know, attest and revise constitute the ontological definitions of the concepts of evidence and evident. The theories are united by the core concepts of testimony and witnessing the human being's suffering. Eriksson points out that it is in the ethical acts that deeds are formed, based on ethos. The anchorage in an ethos means to have firm value-loaded judgements of an inner motive. Moreover, the anchorage in ethos presupposes a personal and natural ethic. The good deeds are realised in the relationship between the patient and the carer, but the caring ethics is not a professional or external ethics. Caring ethics is an ontological inner ethics meaning fellowship and the right to exist, but it is the patient's world and reality that decides the foundation and starting point for caritative caring ethics in clinical practice. The ultimate purpose and goal of caring are to guarantee the patient's dignity and absolute value as a human being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1251-1258
Number of pages8
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • caring
  • caritative caring
  • ethics
  • ethos
  • evidence
  • theory
  • TheoryCaring science


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