The Nature of Ethical Conflicts and the Meaning of Moral Community in Oncology Practice

20140317-01ONCOLOGY NURSING FORUM, 2014;41(2):130-140. [In this study] most ethical conflicts pertained to complex end-of-life situations. Three factors were associated with ethical conflicts: 1) delaying or avoiding difficult conversations; 2) feeling torn between competing obligations; and, 3) the silencing of different moral perspectives. Moral communities were characterized by respectful team relationships, timely communication, ethics-minded leadership, readily available ethics resources, and provider awareness and willingness to use ethics resources. Moral disagreements are expected to occur in complex clinical practice. However, when they progress to ethical conflicts, care becomes more complicated and often places seriously ill patients at the epicenter. Practice environments as moral communities could foster comfortable dialogue about moral differences and prevent or mitigate ethical conflicts and the moral distress that frequently follows…read more

An article from Media Watch, compiled and annotated by Barry R. Ashpole (Ontario, Canada). More reports can be found at IPCRC.NET