Ethics Education: Preventing Moral Distress and Empathy Decline in Sports Medicine Practice

in International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training
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Values guide behaviors, and consistent behaviors guide practice. Professionals are bound by social contracts to provide high-quality services with the interest of the patient as the primary consideration. Most healthcare professions have a codified standard for ethical behavior, however, the manifestation of ethical decisions can violate the social contract if not carefully considered. Healthcare professions have experienced considerable empathy decline and moral distress both in professional preparation and clinical practice. These emerging trends have created concerns about the structure and function of ethics education in the health professions. Several conceptual, pedagogical strategies have been promoted to engage learners in purposeful reflection about ethical dilemmas. Healthcare educators need to consider different strategies for encouraging ethical reflection and engagement to prevent moral distress and empathy decline. Various pedagogical strategies are discussed with a conceptual framework proposed for reconsidering ethics education in healthcare professions.

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