1Department of Midwifery, Kocaeli High Health School, University of Kocaeli, Kocaeli, Turkey
2Department of Nursing, Muğla High Health School, University of Muğla Sıtkı Koçman, Muğla, Turkey
3Department of History of the Medicine and Medical Ethics, Medical Faculty, University of Kocaeli, Kocaeli, Turkey
Background The independent roles of midwives have not been properly defined, and midwifery ethical values and moral codes proper to Turkish culture have not been developed. The absence of legal regulations concerning midwifery has negatively affected midwifery in the process of professionalization. Objectives The purpose of this study was to identify the professional values of midwifery in Turkey. Materials and Methods A focus group was created with the participation of nine midwives working at two state hospitals and a university hospital that provide birth service for women in Kocaeli, which is the most important industrial city in Turkey. The opinions of the midwives on the characteristics that a good midwife should possess and the professional values that a good midwife should observe were collected via in-depth interviews. The interviews were recorded. A total of three meetings were held with the participants. Finally, the notes taken by the reporter during these interviews were rearranged, and the recordings were transcribed by the researchers. Results The characteristics suggested by the participants were classified into three categories: professional, personal, and interpersonal. Professional competence, capacity to properly inform interested parties, trustworthiness, respect for individuals and human dignity, and empathy were the most commonly named characteristics. As for the professional values of midwifery, professional competence, trustworthiness, responsibility, maximum benefit, and protection of privacy were the most often identified. Midwives also reported that most of the difficulties they faced in the exercise of daily tasks concerned protecting the privacy of their patients as well as the integrity and prestige of the profession, achieving the maximum benefit and least harm for patients, and providing a just and equal service. Conclusions The professional values were mentioned by participant midwives were similar to the values proposed by international professional organizations. But there were some differences perhaps due to cultural differences.