Modesty in Health Care

  • Eric Gagnon VITAM – Centre de recherche en santé durable, Institut universitaire de première ligne en santé et services sociaux, Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de la Capitale-Nationale; Département de sociologie, Faculté des sciences sociales, Université Laval, Québec, Canada
  • Romane Marcotte Faculté de Philosophie, Université Laval, Québec, Canada
Keywords: modesty, care, virtue, long-term care, feeling, integrity, intimacy, vulnerability
Language(s): French


Modesty is omnipresent in health care, particularly in the care of highly dependent persons and which involves a significant intrusion into their intimacy. However, it is still little discussed in health care ethics. This article presents a conceptual exploration of the notion of modesty and its manifestations in healthcare, more specifically their moral dimension and the challenges they pose for health care institutions. Since modesty calls for the protection of the integrity, dignity and vulnerability of the person being cared for, it seems to us to have a moral purpose, and therefore deserves not only more attention from the ethics of care, but perhaps even to be introduced as a virtue.

How to Cite
Gagnon E, Marcotte R. Modesty in Health Care. Can. J. Bioeth. 2023;6:1-12.