Moral Distress and powerlessness

Moral distress is a key concept in nursing and more generally in the context of health care practices. It is the distress experienced by agents who know what the right course of action is but are prevented from taking it by external constraints (material, hierarchical or institutional, for example). Moral distress differs from moral conflict in that there is no dilemma about what to do, but a sense of being powerless to do what one thinks is right. In this workshop, we seek to understand the experience of moral distress, to determine whether/when it is ethically appropriate, and whether faith, hope and love might be of help in dealing with moral distress.

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