Moral Distress in End-of-Life Care

Georgina Morley*, Caroline Bradbury-Jones, Jonathan Ives

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Whilst debate continues regarding how to define moral distress (MD), one constant has been the belief that healthcare professionals often experience MD during end-of-life (EoL) care. In this chapter, we will discuss the concept of MD in the context of EoL care, drawing on a recent case that has attracted global attention and empirical data drawn from Morley’s doctoral studies exploring MD in nursing. We argue that the empirical data supports a broader understanding of MD and that the occurrence of MD during EoL care can highlight other morally complex issues that warrant further exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophy and Medicine
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NamePhilosophy and Medicine
ISSN (Print)0376-7418
ISSN (Electronic)2215-0080

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements The empirical study discussed here was funded by a Wellcome Trust Society and Ethics Fellowship for Healthcare Professionals held by Georgina Morley.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Care
  • End of life
  • Healthcare
  • Moral distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy


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