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Can the Ethical Best Practice of Shared Decision-Making lead to Moral Distress?

Journal title
Journal of bioethical inquiry
Publication year
2018
Author(s)
Prentice, T. M.; Gillam, L.
Pages
259-268
Volume
15
Number
2

When healthcare professionals feel constrained from acting in a patient’s best interests, moral distress ensues. The resulting negative sequelae of burnout, poor retention rates, and ultimately poor patient care are well recognized across healthcare providers. Yet an appreciation of how particular disciplines, including physicians, come to be "constrained" in their actions is still lacking. This paper will examine how the application of shared decision-making may contribute to the experience of moral distress for physicians and why such distress may go under-recognized. Appreciation of these dynamics may assist in cross-discipline sensitivity, enabling more constructive dialogue and collaboration.

Research abstracts