Between April -June 2019, EoP delivered CDP training modules on ‘Moral Distress’ to hospices across the East of England (St Helena, Colchester; St Francis, Romford; St Lukes, Basildon; Arthur Rank, Cambridge). These modules have been highly rated by staff across a wide range of roles within the hospice setting. For more details, or if you would like to register your interest, see: https://powerlessness.essex.ac.uk/moral-distress
The term ‘moral distress’ entered nursing literature in 1984 when Andrew Jameton first described the phenomenon. According to Jameton, moral distress occurs ‘when one knows the right thing to do, but institutional constraints make it nearly impossible to pursue the right course of action’ (Jameton, 1984: p.6). As we shall see, this brief statement has come in for criticism, led to some confusion, and spurred subsequent attempts at refinement. Our aim in this Green Paper is to present a critical review of discussions of moral distress, propose a phenomenologically grounded analysis of the phenomenon, and sketch an array of possible ways of responding to experiences of moral distress as described.
Our 2018 end of year conference, ‘Virtues of Powerlessness? Faith, Love and Hope in a Secular World’ took place at Senate House, London on Friday and Saturday 15th and 16th of June, 2018.
Béatrice Han-Pile, our principal investigator, has given an interview about the Ethics of Powerlessness for David Maclean in IAI news.