Ruptured selves: moral injury and wounded identity

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 26 (2):225-231 (2023)
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Moral injury is the trauma caused by violations of deeply held values and beliefs. This paper draws on relational philosophical anthropologies to develop the connection between moral injury and moral identity and to offer implications for moral repair, focusing particularly on healthcare professionals. We expound on the notion of moral identity as the relational and narrative constitution of the self. Moral identity is formed and forged in the context of communities and narrative and is necessary for providing a moral horizon against which to act. We then explore the relationship between moral injury and damaged moral identities. We describe how moral injury ruptures one’s sense of self leading to moral disorientation. The article concludes with implications for moral repair. Since moral identity is relationally formed, moral repair is not primarily an individual task but requires the involvement of others to heal one’s identity. The repair of moral injury requires the transformation of a moral identity in community.



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References found in this work

The Ethics of Authenticity.Charles Taylor - 1991 - Harvard University Press.
How the Body Shapes the Mind.Shaun Gallagher - 2007 - Philosophy 82 (319):196-200.
Sources of the Self: The Making of Modern Identity.Charles Taylor - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (1):187-190.
I and thou.Martin Buber - 1970 - New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons 57.
The Constitution of Selves.Christopher Williams & Marya Schechtman - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (4):641.

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