Moral Distress: Insight from Stories in the PICU

Last modified by Ann Watkins on 2016/03/10 21:52


Moral distress is what we experience when we are caught up in situations that seem unethical to us. Not only can we experience frustration, guilt, and/or anger at such times, we can have physical symptoms of distress, like headaches, nausea, and anxiety. Health professionals leave their positions or even their discipline when moral distress becomes unbearable. The stories of PICU teams, gathered through a CIHR-funded project, provide insight into this pressing moral phenomenon in health care.


For more information go to their website, The Experience and Resolution of Moral Distress in Paediatric Intensive Care Teams:  A Canadian Perspective

Presentation:  Moral Distress: Insights From Stories in the PICU, Garros/Austin

Click here to contact our presenters with any questions.


Wendy Austin, RN, PhD - Dr. Austin is a Professor with the Faculty of Nursing and the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre at the University of Alberta, Wendy holds a Canada Research Chair in Relational Ethics in Health Care. Her research program, interdisciplinary in nature, explores relational ethics issues in health care, developing a relational ethics perspective on health research, and identifying ways to better prepare healthcare practitioners and researchers for ethical action. Projects include a study of health professionals’ compassion fatigue and, along with Dr. Garros, an exploration of moral distress among PICU Teams (findings available at Dr. Austinwas recently an Erasmus Mundus Visiting Fellow and has served as a member of the Canadian Nurses Association’s Ethics Committee, the Boards of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health and the Health Law Institute, University of Alberta, and currently serves as an International Board Member of the Canadian Unit of the International Network of the UNESCO Chairs in Bioethics.

Daniel Garros, MD, Pediatric Intensivist - Dr. Garros is an attending physician (pediatric critical care specialist) at the Stollery Children's Hospital, Edmonton and Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Alberta. He coordinates the PICU’s Quality Assurance (formerly Mortality/Morbidity) committee as well as the Stollery's Bereavement Committee, and is a member of the Stollery Child Health Quality Assurance, Improvement & Patient Safety Collaborative (CHIPS) QAC. Daniel is also responsible for the PICU database system. He has published on end-of-life decision-making in PICU and on the dying of children in hospital. His research interests include end-of-life care, bereavement, medical ethics and quality & safety in health care delivery.

Created by Doug Maynard on 2013/01/29 19:31