Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared
UNDERSTANDING DOCTORS' ETHICAL CHALLENGES AS ROLE VIRTUE CONFLICTS
Article first published online: 4 JUL 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Volume 27, Issue 1, pages 20–27, January 2013
How to Cite
MCDOUGALL, R. (2013), UNDERSTANDING DOCTORS' ETHICAL CHALLENGES AS ROLE VIRTUE CONFLICTS. Bioethics, 27: 20–27. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8519.2011.01893.x
- Issue published online: 6 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 4 JUL 2011
- virtue ethics;
- junior doctors;
- medical errors
This paper argues that doctors' ethical challenges can be usefully conceptualised as role virtue conflicts. The hospital environment requires doctors to be simultaneously good doctors, good team members, good learners and good employees. I articulate a possible set of role virtues for each of these four roles, as a basis for a virtue ethics approach to analysing doctors' ethical challenges. Using one junior doctor's story, I argue that understanding doctors' ethical challenges as role virtue conflicts enables recognition of important moral considerations that are overlooked by other approaches to ethical analysis.