Clinician Moral Distress: Toward an Ethics of Agent‐Regret

Hastings Center Report 53 (6):40-53 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Moral distress names a widely discussed and concerning clinician experience. Yet the precise nature of the distress and the appropriate practical response to it remain unclear. Clinicians speak of their moral distress in terms of guilt, regret, anger, or other distressing emotions, and they often invoke them interchangeably. But these emotions are distinct, and they are not all equally fitting in the same circumstances. This indicates a problematic ambiguity in the moral distress concept that obscures its distinctiveness, its relevant circumstances, and how individual clinicians and the medical community should practically respond to it. We argue that, in a range of situations that are said to be morally distressing, the characteristic emotion can be well‐understood in terms of what Bernard Williams calls “agent‐regret.” We show what can thereby be gained in terms of a less ambiguous concept and a more adequate ethical response to this distinctive and complex clinician experience.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,227

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Agent-Regret in Healthcare.Gavin Enck & Beth Condley - forthcoming - American Journal of Bioethics:1-15.
Is Agent-Regret Rational?David Sussman - 2018 - Ethics 128 (4):788-808.
The Purity of Agent-Regret.Jake Wojtowicz - 2022 - Philosophy 97 (1):71-90.
Emotional expressions of moral value.Julie Tannenbaum - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 132 (1):43 - 57.
The Moral Significance of Agent-Regret in advance.Agata Łukomska - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Research.
Bernard Williams on Regarding One's Own Action Purely Externally.Jake Wojtowicz - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (1):49-66.
Apology as Self-Repair.Marc A. Cohen - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (3):585-598.
Value in the guise of regret.Carla Bagnoli - 2000 - Philosophical Explorations 3 (2):169 – 187.

Analytics

Added to PP
2023-12-24

Downloads
8 (#1,322,157)

6 months
8 (#368,968)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The Language Animal: The Full Shape of the Human Linguistic Capacity.Charles Taylor - 2016 - Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 50 (1):115-152.
Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 50:115 - 151.
Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 50 (1):115-152.
Moral Distress: What Are We Measuring?Laura Kolbe & Inmaculada de Melo-Martin - 2022 - American Journal of Bioethics 23 (4):46-58.

View all 23 references / Add more references