Writes a doctor working in the National Health Service (NHS):
“It is increasingly recognised that what doctors may be suffering from is not burnout at all but ‘moral injury’, the psychological harm that occurs as a result of not being able to give patients the care that they need due to working in a broken system. The term came from the military and refers to veterans that were suffering low level trauma from seeing things which went against their ‘moral code’. For doctors, it’s witnessing substandard care and not being physically able to give patients the care they deserve. “
What is telling is its expansion both overseas and to the nod to secondary trauma (trauma experienced by caregivers as they encounter patients’ trauma). I don’t have much knowledge as to the workings of the NHS other than the usual biased reporting from both ends of the argument over whether to implement a ‘single payer system’ (i.e. like the NHS) in the US. However, I can empathize with those in the caregiver category and the ethical decisions being forced upon them and how it damages the soul.