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Towards collective moral resilience: the potential of communities of practice during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond


This paper proposes communities of practice (CoP) as a process to build moral resilience in healthcare settings. We introduce the starting point of moral distress that arises from ethical challenges when actions of the healthcare professional are constrained. We examine how situations such as the current COVID-19 pandemic can exponentially increase moral distress in healthcare professionals. Then, we explore how moral resilience can help cope with moral distress. We propose the term collective moral resilience to capture the shared capacity arising from mutual engagement and dialogue in group settings, towards responding to individual moral distress and towards building an ethical practice environment. Finally, we look at CoPs in healthcare and explore how these group experiences can be used to build collective moral resilience.

  • ethics
  • applied and professional ethics
  • clinical ethics
  • education for health care professionals

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