This article addresses the ethical dimensions of nursing theorizing. Nursing theorizing, whether it occurs primarily at the outset or emerges during the process of inquiry, is inescapably linked to the theorist's value choices and beliefs about human beings, the environment, and health. These choices are reflected in the conceptual frame of one's research. The normative commitment of the conceptual frame is explored using examples from nursing and nonnursing research. Elements of critical ethical reflection are outlined. It is suggested that the discipline's understanding of what constitutes health and how best to promote health, as well as solutions to ethical dilemmas posed by research, may be enhanced by purposeful ethical inquiry that occurs as an integral component of theorizing activities.
(C) 1989 Aspen Publishers, Inc.