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Sturdy for common things: cultivating moral sensemaking on the front lines of practice
  1. David M Browning
  1. Correspondence to David M Browning, Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice, Children's Hospital Boston at Waltham, 9 Hope, Avenue, Waltham, MA 02453, USA; david.browning{at}


This essay argues that the field of bioethics should concern itself especially with the process of making moral sense that unfolds among clinicians, patients and family members during common but high-stakes conversations occurring on the front lines of practice. The essay outlines the parameters of a bioethics grounded in the moral experience of patients, families and practitioners. It challenges ethicists, educators, and clinician leaders to commit themselves to advocating and developing creative approaches to learning that will cultivate the moral sensibilities of frontline clinicians in this critically important domain of practice.

  • Applied and professional ethics
  • clinical ethics
  • education
  • education for healthcare professionals
  • education/programs

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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