In this commentary piece, published in BMJ Leader, Suzanne Shale draws attention to a broader notion of moral injury found in moral philosophy. In this version, a moral wound can be experienced by anyone. It arises from sources that include injustice, cruelty, status degradation and profound breaches of moral expectations. The moral-philosophical version of moral injury associates it with moral and psychological anguish, and feelings such as bewilderment, humiliation and resentment. According to this formulation of moral injury, it could affect patients, service users, families and loved ones as well as care staff.
Suzanne highlights that experiences of moral injury among the wider public, as well as staff, will call for attention from care leaders long after the pandemic surge.