Moral Distress: The State of the Science
Moral distress, a complex human experience, has lacked a clear, complete definition. Intuitively, clinicians know that moral distress might be occurring for patients with increasing frequency due to technological advances that alter the natural order of life and death. Yet clinicians have not been able to evaluate the presence or extent of moral distress. To date, moral distress has been investigated mainly as an occupational issue using Jameton's (1984) definition, which has been problematic for several reasons. Without an adequate definition, moral distress can be unrecognized, yet have a silent, clinically significant impact on health. The literature is discussed from several perspectives to show the current state of the science in this topical area, and its potential future.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2004-01-01
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- Research and Theory for Nursing Practice focuses on research and theory issues relevant to improving nursing practice and patient care.
formerly published as Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice
The journal's 2014 impact factor is 0.364.
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