Clinical ethics and COVID-19 free course

Working through some familiar but hypothetical examples, Professor Clare Delany, from the University of Melbourne, highlighted the ethical challenges of COVID-19 at last week’s Manager Webex forum.

Prof Delany’s presentation focused on the three challenges of moral regret, moral distress and moral injury. These ethical challenges are particularly relevant when dealing with a pandemic, which requires clinicians to make a shift from purely patient-centered practice, to patient care guided by public health duties and self-protection. This kind of change in thinking and acting may create moral distress and moral regret for clinicians, so how do they deal with it?

Prof Delany said this shift can be difficult and complex and relates to people’s values as well as their professional and personal integrity.

It’s important to explore these issues and talk them through. Prof Delany outlined an approach that involved examining your feelings about what you have to do, discussing it with others, and formulating a considered view.

You can download the Ethics and Wellbeing presentation from the COVID-19 website for employees and work through the examples on your own or with your team.

The University of Melbourne also has a free course on Clinical Ethics and Covid-19, and Prof Delany is one of the course authors. You can find out more about the short course here.

Please contact Professor Clare Delany if you would like more information. She can be contacted by email:

Approved by Karen Lowe, Executive Director, People and Culture

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