Moral distress when used in the health care context is defined by Jameton as resulting when the morally correct action is known, but institutional constraints make it nearly impossible to pursue the right course of action. This concept has been explored in nursing with vigor. However, little attention has been paid to it by the other health disciplines. The talk introduced the concept as applied to the medical field and the argument for much greater attention to this potentially erosive and destructive force among physicians. Why might this be relevant? A (morally) sad doctor is a bad doctor. Co-sponsored with University of Minnesota, Medical School and School of Nursing.
Speaker: John Song, MD, MPH, MAT, University of Minnesota
Gun violence is a public health problem in terms of causing deaths and injuries. Having a gun in the house is a risk factor for death or injury. Health professionals commonly assess for risk factors (biological, like cholesterol), behavioral (like using seat belts). Does clinical ethics (rules for how practitioners act) have a legitimate role to play in reducing gun violence? Co-sponsored with University of Minnesota, School of Public Health.
Speaker: Steven Miles, MD
Sponsored with The Initiative on Governance of Emerging Technological Systems (iGETS), Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs; Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota
Speaker: Wendell Wallach, Yale University
The vegetative state is one of the least understood and most ethically troublesome conditions in modern medicine. It is a rare disorder in which patients who emerge from a coma appear to be awake, but show no signs of awareness. In recent years, we have introduced a number of new methods that have revealed covert signs of awareness in up to 20% of physically non-responsive vegetative state patients. In some cases, these methods have even allowed patients to communicate with the outside world for the first time since their injuries. These findings have profound implications for clinical care, diagnosis, prognosis and medical-legal decision-making after severe brain injury, but also present many new ethical challenges for both scientists and physicians. By reflecting on our experiences with a cohort of physically non-responsive (yet covertly conscious) patients and their families, Dr. Owen discussed these ethical challenges and, where possible, suggest evidence-based solutions. Sponsored by Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science; Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts; College of Liberal Arts; and Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota.
Speaker: Adrian Owen, University of Western Ontario
Sponsored by Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health; and Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota
Speaker: Jonathan Oberlander, PhD, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Speaker: Mary Faith Marshall, PhD, FCCM, HEC-C, Emily Davie and Joseph S. Kornfeld Professor of Biomedical Ethics, Director, Center for Health Humanities and Ethics