Ethical conflicts among physicians and nurses during the COVID‐19 pandemic: A qualitative study

Muñoz‐Quiles, José M., Ruiz‐Fernández, María D. ORCID logoORCID:, Hernández-Padilla, José Manuel ORCID logoORCID:, Granero‐Molina, José, Fernández‐Sola, Cayetano and Ortega‐Galán, Ángela M. (2023) Ethical conflicts among physicians and nurses during the COVID‐19 pandemic: A qualitative study. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 29 (1) . pp. 117-125. ISSN 1356-1294 [Article] (doi:10.1111/jep.13742)

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Rationale, Aims and Objectives
The healthcare system and professionals working in the sector have experienced a high caseload during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This has increased the potential for morally harmful events that violate professionals' moral codes and values. The aim of this study was to understand and explore experiences of new moral challenges emerging among physicians and nurses caring for individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ) checklist was used in this qualitative study based on Gadamer's phenomenology. Participants were selected using a convenience sampling method. Thirteen medicine and nursing graduates were interviewed in depth. The participants all worked on the frontline at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Data were gathered in two basic healthcare districts in Spain, encompassing both primary care and hospital care.

Four main themes emerged from the data analysis: (1) Betrayal of moral and ethical values as a key source of suffering; (2) Ethical and moral sense of failure accompanying loss of meaning; (3) Lack of confidence in performance; (4) Self-demand and self-punishment as personal condemnation among healthcare workers.

Health institutions must implement interventions for health professionals to help mitigate the consequences of experiencing complex ethical scenarios during the pandemic. In addition, they should promote training in moral and ethical deliberation and prepare them to make decisions of great ethical significance.

Item Type: Article
Sustainable Development Goals:
Keywords (uncontrolled): COVID‐19, ethical conflicts, healthcare workers, health crisis, qualitative study
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Adult, Child and Midwifery
Item ID: 37313
Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2023 12:15
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2023 12:15

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