Conference General Description
Our roles in healthcare call us to be moral agents, promoting beneficence in our care and interaction with others. This responsibility is complicated, as our agency necessitates commitments to many (patients, their families, society), our professional relationships within organizations, and our commitment to the goals and values of our professions. In a sense, we are double, and at times, triple agents who face competing obligations, and at times encounter limitations and obstacles as we try to meet them. If we feel caught in this bind, we must consider how to move beyond the idea of “fixing it,” which can trap us in narrowed perspectives. Our fast-paced environments and habituation to quick responses and timely reaction can also limit creativity and reflection in these moments. Yet it is in these instances, amidst the pressures, that we need to pause, to see the bigger picture and discern an ethical response. This process is not always graceful, but even if we blunder, reflection and debriefing teach us how we might respond differently in the future. The 2020 NNEC provides an opportunity to learn how to appreciate ethical humility, develop ethical competence, cultivate ethical cultures, and appreciate the complexity of being moral agents and acting in more well-informed and virtuous ways.