Dr. Allen Alvarez, PhD, Ethicist, Ethics Education & Research, Fraser Health Ethics & Diversity Services (FHEDS)
In this episode Marika Warren talks with Allen Alvarez about moral wellness and the challenging situations that arise as dynamic experiences.
Moral Distress and its Interconnection with Moral Sensitivity and Moral Resilience: Viewed from the Philosophy of Viktor E. Frankl by Kim Lützén & Béatrice Ewalds-Kvist
The interconnection between moral distress, moral sensitivity, and moral resilience was explored by constructing two hypothetical scenarios based on a recent Swedish newspaper report. In the first scenario, a 77-year-old man, rational and awake, was coded as “do not resuscitate” (DNR) against his daughter’s wishes. The patient died in the presence of nurses who were not permitted to resuscitate him. The second scenario concerned a 41-year-old man, who had been in a coma for three weeks. He was also coded as “do not resuscitate” and, when he stopped breathing, was resuscitated by his father. The nurses persuaded the physician on call to resume life support treatment and the patient recovered. These scenarios were analyzed using Viktor Frankl’s existential philosophy, resulting in a conceivable theoretical connection between moral distress, moral sensitivity, and moral resilience. To substantiate our conclusion, we encourage further empirical research..
This qualitative case study explores the way Frankl’s creative, experiential and attitudinal pathways to meaning emerge in everyday life. Narrative analysis was performed on transcripts of three interviews with people about a meaningful moment and its impact on life. The study shows different ways in which these pathways interrelate and give rise to each other. The creative pathway was found to follow from the experiential pathway, but also the other way around, to set the stage for the experiential pathway. The experiential pathway relates to both wonder as awe, the latter also appearing to be central in the attitudinal pathway aimed at embracing suffering. Finally, the study shows how healing partners may help to travel the three pathways and become conscious of the way these are implicitly woven into the fabric of life.