Joint Conference Addresses Moral Distress Amongst Healthcare Providers (Edmonton)
September 17, 2008


Edmonton, ABMore than 350 healthcare providers will attend Between a Rock and Hard Place: When Healthcare Providers Experience Moral Distress on Sept. 19, 2008 at the Shaw Conference Centre, a conference presented by the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) and the Provincial Health Ethics Network (PHEN). Moral distress is defined as knowing the right thing to do, but being unable to do it due to institutional, social or other barriers. The conference sold out earlier this year in Calgary and is being repeated in Edmonton due to overwhelming demand.


This joint conference is designed to offer those working in health care the opportunity to identify situations that cause moral distress in the healthcare workplace, reflect on their own experiences, discuss practical strategies for dealing with moral distress at the individual and organization level and explore how such situations can be turned into constructive opportunities to improve professional and therapeutic relationships.


Featured speakers include:

  • Margaret Somerville, professor at McGill University in the faculty of law and the faculty of medicine and founding director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law.
  • Wendy Austin, professor at the University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing and Canada research chair in relational ethics in health care.
  • Barbara Farlow, member of the Communications and Information Advisory Committee, Canadian Patient Safety Institute and a member of Canadian Patients for Patient Safety.
  • Daniel Garros, pediatric intensivist at the Stollery Children’s’ Hospital and clinical professor in pediatrics at the University of Alberta.
  • Cynda Hylton Rushton, associate professor of nursing at John Hopkins University, clinical nurse specialist in ethics and program director of the Harriet Lane Compassionate Care Program at the John Hopkins Children’s Centre.
  • John Lantos, professor of pediatrics and medicine, co-director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and associate director of the MacLean Centre for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago.
  • Dawn Oosterhoff, former intensive care nurse and the senior advisor to the president and CEO of the Ontario Medical Association.


CARNA is the professional association and regulatory college for Alberta’s more than 30,000 registered nurses. CARNA sets the requirements to enter the profession and establishes, monitors and enforces standards of registered nursing practice.


PHEN is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting discussion and action on ethical issues that affect the health of Albertans. A non-partisan body, PHEN does not take stances, but instead promotes careful, systematic consideration of ethics issues in decision-making.


- 30 -