10/13/2022 Grand Rounds

Moral Distress in the Hospital Setting: Observations of a Clinical Ethics Consult Team Member


Jori Berger-Greenstein, PhD
Staff Psychologist, Adult Behavioral Health
Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry,
Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center

This presentation will review the functions of Ethics Committees and Consult Teams in hospitals in the United States. Details about BMC’s Consult Team will be described, with a focus on consults that present with moral distress experienced by providers. Moral distress has been defined as arising “when one knows the right thing to do, but institutional constraints make it nearly impossible to pursue the right course of action” (Jameton, 1984). Example cases will presented as well as strategies that can be utilized to address moral distress.

Learning Objectives:
    1. Describe the functions that Ethics Committees and consult teams serve in hospitals across the US.
    2. Discuss how to define and understand moral distress.
    3. Define strategies for helping providers cope with moral distress.