Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.

Health Care Workers' Battle with "Moral Distress"

Ben Bayer, Elan Journo

Presented at: New Ideal Live

Date: Jan 19, 2022

Hospitals are again under strain with the latest wave of Covid. This time staffing shortages are compounding the problem, due in part to an increasing rate of resignations among health care workers.

Doctors and nurses are a sturdy lot, so why should some want to quit even when they expected their careers to involve grueling conditions? In some cases, it's the distress of not wanting to treat their own patients, patients who could have avoided infection by getting vaccinated, who openly disrespect doctors and nurses, and who take their service for granted as an unconditional right.

Join Ben Bayer and Elan Journo to analyze the philosophical ideas that worsen the “moral distress” currently plaguing doctors and nurses.

Overview article available here

Among the topics covered:

  • How many health care workers are leaving their jobs or considering doing so;
  • The conditions health care workers face as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • The psychological harm experienced by those who work in these conditions
  • The political causes of the challenges facing health care workers;
  • How altruism infects people’s view of health care workers;
  • Whether the unvaccinated are wholly to blame for the situation;
  • The role of health care workers’ own acceptance of altruism in their “moral distress”;
  • The moral attitude health care workers should have;
  • The gulf between altruism’s positive reputation and its destructive effects;
  • How we should view people who seek health care after making unhealthy choices.

Mentioned in the discussion are an excerpt from Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged called “The Forgotten Man of Socialized Medicine” and Leonard Peikoff’s essay “Health Care Is Not a Right.”

00:00 Introduction
01:10 Many health care workers resigning
03:41 The conditions workers face
12:27 Psychological harm
17:20 Political causes
25:05 Altruism's effects on people's views
32:39 Are the unvaxxed wholly to blame?
36:13 Workers' acceptance of altruism
39:34 Recommended moral attitude
42:59 Altruism: reputation vs. destructive effects
47:10 Judging those who make unhealthy choices

health carepoliticsaltruism

Parts: 1

Handout: none