Moral Distress in Nephrology: Perceived Barriers to Ethical Clinical Care
AuthorDucharlet, K; Philip, J; Gock, H; Brown, M; Gelfand, SL; Josland, EA; Brennan, F
Source TitleAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
PublisherW B SAUNDERS CO-ELSEVIER INC
University of Melbourne Author/sDucharlet, Kathryn; Philip, Jennifer; Gock, Hilton; Ducharlet, Kathryn
Medicine (St Vincent's)
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsDucharlet, K., Philip, J., Gock, H., Brown, M., Gelfand, S. L., Josland, E. A. & Brennan, F. (2020). Moral Distress in Nephrology: Perceived Barriers to Ethical Clinical Care. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF KIDNEY DISEASES, 76 (2), pp.248-254. https://doi.org/10.1053/j.ajkd.2019.09.018.
Access StatusOpen Access
Moral distress occurs when individuals are unable to act in accordance with what they believe to be ethically correct or just. It results from a discrepancy between a clinician's perception of "the right thing to do" and what is actually happening and is perpetuated by perceived constraints that limit the individual from speaking up or enacting change. Moral distress is reported by many clinicians in caring for patients with serious illness, including chronic kidney disease and kidney failure. If left unidentified, unexpressed, or unaddressed, moral distress may cause burnout, exhaustion, detachment, and ineffectiveness. At an extreme, moral distress may lead to a desire to abandon the speciality entirely. This article offers an international perspective on moral distress in nephrology in diverse contexts and health care systems. We examine and discuss the sociocultural factors that contribute to moral distress in nephrology and offer suggestions for interventions from individual provider, facility, and health care systems perspectives to reduce the impact of moral distress on nephrology providers.
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