What is it about?

This opinion article proposes that violations of the four pillars of bioethics - autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice - are key causes of moral injury among healthcare providers. It argues that understanding this link can help prevent and treat moral injury.

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Why is it important?

Moral injury is increasingly recognized as a significant issue affecting healthcare providers. Understanding its causes can help address problems like burnout and improve care quality. Connecting it to core bioethics principles provides a useful framework.


Witnessing violations of core ethical values can result in moral injury. While more research is needed, I believe that reducing moral injury is the key to a vibrant, energetic, and high-performing medical staff. Moral injuries usually stem from systemic issues, so it is critical to improve healthcare systems and not solely focus on the individual.

Thomas F Heston MD
University of Washington

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Moral injury and the four pillars of bioethics, F1000Research, July 2019, Faculty of 1000, Ltd.,
DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.19754.1.
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