Caregiving and Role-Conflict Distress

Clinical Ethics (forthcoming)
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When our nearest and dearest experience medical crises, we may need to step into caregiving roles. But in doing so, some people find that their new caregiving relationship is actually in tension with the loving relationship that motivated us towards care. What we owe and are entitled to as friends, spouses and family members, can be different from what we owe and are entitled to as caregivers. For this reason, caregiving carries with it the risk of a type of moral distress that I call ‘role conflict distress’. Rather than view role conflict distress as a sign that we are falling short, I suggest that it actually speaks to the commitment that we have to the loving relationship that grounds our duty of care.

Author's Profile

Jordan MacKenzie
Virginia Tech


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