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Interpreting and translation are unregulated activities in most countries, yet interpreters and translators perform challenging work in sensitive domains, such as medicine. Interpreters and translators rarely have access to ethical infrastructure and the function and ethical boundaries of ‘interpreting practice’ are not widely known .
Translators or interpreters do not cease being human beings with human rights, when they enter their profession. All human beings, including interpreters, possess human rights and human freedoms. Conscientious objection is a right derived from the human right to freedom of conscience. Human beings (interpreters) are not machines; machines, when maintained, are on the whole very predictable and reliable. Interpreters like other human beings can be creative, self-aware, imaginative and flexible in their thinking.
Limitations exist in workplaces that cannot allow for a variety of opinions, thoughts, beliefs and conscientious positions.
Moral distress is a wide spread problem for health care providers in a range of acute and community health care settings. The understanding of moral distress may differ depending on the extent to which the problem is located in individual and/or systemic /structural factors. Healthcare staff members (as human beings) react in various ways when ethically/morally challenged: they may withdraw from ethically challenging situations; change their position; and/or continue to raise object...
Moral distress is a wide spread problem for health care providers in a range of acute and community health care settings. The understanding of moral distress may differ depending on the extent to which the problem is located in individual and/or systemic /structural factors. Healthcare staff members (as human beings) react in various ways when ethically/morally challenged: they may withdraw from ethically challenging situations; change their position; and/or continue to raise objections and voice concerns about situations.
Moral courage should be a highly esteemed trait displayed by individuals, who, despite adversity and personal risk, decide to act upon their ethical values during difficult ethical dilemmas. The challenge in today’s constantly changing healthcare and political environments is to be certain that professionals understand what ‘moral courage’ is, why it is important for all settings in which they practice, teach, research, and/or lead, and how moral courage can be demonstrated when ethical challenges face any interpreter or other healthcare staff member. Outcomes of moral distress, such as decisions to leave the role of interpreter (or other roles) will cause concern among health care leaders and society.
Systemic changes are needed as part of a response to apparently rising levels of moral distress in health care. It is important that all healthcare professionals, political leaders and management , value and support their peers who have the courage to stand up and speak out even when others are silent or differ in opinion.
Joanna Drugan (2017) Ethics and social responsibility in practice: interpreters and translators engaging with and beyond the professions, The Translator, 23:2, 126-142, DOI: 10.1080/13556509.2017.1281204
Dragoje, V., and D. Ellam. 2004. “Shared Perceptions of Ethics and Interpreting in Health Care.” Paper presented at the Critical Link 4 conference, Stockholm, Accessed 19 October 2015 http://www.criticallink.org/cli-5/.
Purtilo, R.B. (2000). Moral courage in times of change: Visions for the future. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 14(3), 4 – 6.
Pauly, B.M., Varcoe, C. & Storch, J. HEC Forum (2012) 24: 1. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10730-012-9176-y
Murray, J.S., (Sept 30, 2010) "Moral Courage in Healthcare: Acting Ethically Even in the Presence of Risk" OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 15, No. 3, Manuscript 2.DOI: 10.3912/OJIN.Vol15No03Man02
Help wanted. No Irish need apply.
Are we to expect the following?
Healthcare staff wanted. No one with a conscientious objection need apply.