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Moral Suffering: A Reality of Clinical Practice 

Moral Suffering: A Reality of Clinical Practice
Moral Suffering: A Reality of Clinical Practice

Cynda Hylton Rushton

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date: 02 March 2021

Moral suffering is common in clinical practice. It can be defined as the anguish that caregivers experience in response to various forms of moral adversity, such as moral harms, wrongs or failures, or unrelieved moral stress, that in some way imperil integrity. There are various types of moral suffering that arise from myriad sources that involve witnessing, participating in, or directly precipitating situations that produce a wide range of negative moral outcomes. Threats to integrity may accompany particular aspects of healthcare professionals’ practice and can contribute to disengagement and alienation from their professions, the people they serve, their organizations, and themselves. Transforming moral suffering will require individual and systemic reforms.

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