Self-Inflicted Moral Distress: Opportunity for a Fuller Exercise of Professionalism

Jeffrey T. Berger, Ann B. Hamric, and Elizabeth Epstein, The Journal of Clinical Ethics 30, no. 4 (Winter 2019): 314-7.

Moral distress is a phenomenon increasingly recognized in healthcare that occurs when a clinician is unable to act in a manner consistent with his or her moral requirements due to external constraints. We contend that some experiences of moral distress are self-inflicted due to one’s under-assertion of professional authority, and these are potentially avoidable. In this article we outline causes of self-inflicted moral distress and offer recommendations for mitigation.



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