Nursing Ethics

Moral sensitivity revisited.

Nurs Ethics. 2020 Aug 13;:969733020930407

Authors: Kraaijeveld MI, Schilderman JH, van Leeuwen E

Nurses find themselves in a unique position - between patient and physicians, and in close proximity to the patient. Moral sensitivity can help nurses to cope with the daily turmoil of demands and opinions while delivering care in concordance with the value system of the patient. This article aims to reconsider the concept of moral sensitivity by discussing the function of emotions in morality. We turn to the ideas of historic and contemporary authors on the function of emotions in morality to expand our understanding of moral sensitivity. Ancient philosophers and contemporary psychologists uphold different strategies on the orientation of morality being (a) personal growth or (b) community living, and the primordial function of (c) reason and (d) emotions in the creation of judgements about good and bad. The theoretical discussion on the function of emotions in morality shows that by focusing on reason alone, one leaves out an essential part of morality. The concept of moral sensitivity should (1) include an initial judgment of good and bad based on emotions, (2) hold the ability to reflect on the initial judgement and the associated emotions, (3) include the ability to understand other stakeholders' perspectives based on the ideal-types and (4) include a personal decision on the right course of action.

PMID: 32787609 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Related Articles

Moral Resilience for Critical Care Nurses.

Crit Care Nurs Clin North Am. 2020 Sep;32(3):383-393

Authors: Stutzer K, Rodriguez AM

Ethically challenging situations are an increasing phenomenon in the nurse's environment, and literature on the subject is growing. Morally challenging experiences common in the critical care environment include end-of-life situations, barriers to providing the best care possible, and lack of organizational resources. These experiences can lead to moral distress and subsequent negative impacts on the clinician. Emerging in the literature are strategies to address the impact of moral distress through the development of moral resilience. Moral resilience is gained through personal commitment and organizational support.

PMID: 32773180 [PubMed - in process]

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