Moral Distress

Moral distress is the anguish and suffering caused when an individual’s personal ethics conflicts with and, at times, is compromised by job requirements, administrative directives, managerial decisions, workplace policies, and so on. It is an issue that many face in today’s workforce. Originally, this notion was developed to explain a specific type of job-related stress and trauma experienced by health care workers, specifically nurses. Psychologists, doctors, social workers, educators, and business professionals are now reporting similar experiences. There are related incidents also found in the area of family law and mediation regarding parents and child custody issues.

Definition and Characteristics

The notion of moral distress emerged in the early 1980s when Andrew Jameton, writing for nurses, drew a distinction between moral uncertainty, moral dilemmas, and moral ...

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