Debriefing as a Response to Moral Distress

Georgina Morley and Shilpa Shashidhara




There are few evidence-based interventions that have been developed that mitigate the negative effects of moral distress. Group debriefing is one approach that some clinical ethicists have adopted as a response. However, there is very little academic literature or empirical research that identifies best practices and approaches to debriefing as a response to moral distress. Our aim at the 2020 UnConference was to share our different approaches to debriefing with other clinical ethicists to identify best practices or guiding principles to enhance our respective approaches and meet the needs of healthcare professionals. In this article we share an overview of our respective approaches, reflect on our discussion with other clinical ethicists and healthcare professionals, and propose foundations to move debriefing forward as an intervention to address moral distress in the field of clinical ethics.




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