Moral Courage in Healthcare: Acting Ethically Even in the Presence of Risk

  1. ojin septemeber 2010 has series of articles on moral courage and moral distress

    moral courage in healthcare: acting ethically even in the presence of risk

    colonel john s. murray, phd, rn, usaf, nc
    healthcare professionals often face complex ethical dilemmas in the workplace. some professionals confront the ethical issues directly while others turn away. moral courage helps individuals to address ethical issues and take action when doing the right thing is not easy. in this article the author defines moral courage, describes ongoing discussions related to moral courage, explains how to recognize moral courage, and offers strategies for developing and demonstrating moral couragewhen faced
    with ethical challenges.

    overview and summary


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  3. by   canoehead
    Any moral courage I had was squelched when I got fired for it, twice.
  4. by   Art_Vandelay
    Quote from canoehead
    Any moral courage I had was squelched when I got fired for it, twice.
    So sorry, canoehead. Horrible that it has to be that way. :-(. The PTB thrive on social bullying and conformity. Who is going to act if he needs to pay the bills and things happen like that which happened to canoe?
  5. by   tewdles
    Yes, some of the most difficult times in my long nursing career have been precipitated by my "moral or ethical courage". And, like canoehead, it has cost me my employment twice.
  6. by   systoly
    I have never been fired, but have felt the financial consequences such as no raise and cut hours. In the end, I always felt I didn't accomplish a darn thing.
    I have tried to ignore and look the other way, but that is much worse than being subject to special treatment by superiors, because you don't get to clock out and walk away from yourself. So for me, the only viable solution is to find a new job.
  7. by   elthia
    My moral/ethical courage almost cost me my job, and had my nurse manager use her friends to audit every chart I was in looking for a way to cost me my license. Luckily I charted too well. I quit before anything could happen.

    Incident reports have a funny way of disappearing, especially if the person who wrote it was at the bottom of the pecking order. Live and learn.
  8. by   Esme12
    I see I'm in good company. It cost me my job too........twice.

    I'm proud I did what I did and I'd do it is NOT an easy path but it's the right one........
  9. by   herring_RN
    with rare exceptions one nurse cannot do it alone. when all or most nurses work together and support each other they can prevail.
    "before we secured a ban on mandatory overtime in our contract, an rn who had regularly worked nights and days was told at shift's end that she could not leave. the nurse broke into tears and the human resources director who had given the order took her into a room for a meeting. as the rn's nurse representative, i went along.

    when i spoke up the hr person told me i was not allowed to talk and if i continued it would be insubordination. when i continued he took my badge and said i was suspended.

    when i was called to a meeting, 25 other nurses went along to represent me. i was reinstated. we continued our opposition to mandatory overtime, talking about it in meetings, distributing leaflets about it in front of the hospital, and raising it in negotiations, and eventually we won.

    malinda markowitz, rn, cna ­council of presidents
    good samaritan hospital-san jose, california
  10. by   Flatlander
    I am presently in a moral dilemma, having observed unsafe practices and having been rebuffed in my effort to discuss it with my immediate superior. Rather than taking it to the next level, at this point, I think I will try to get some backing from other nurses who observed the same thing. I can't afford to lose my job, but can't afford to lose my self-respect or my license for failure to report unsafe practices.

    Would really like a discussion where others share more specifics. But I'll read the articles referenced above, too.

    Thanks again, You are my lifeline!