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Moral Leadership in Medicine Building Ethical Healthcare Organizations by Suzanne Shale

Moral Leadership in Medicine Building Ethical Healthcare Organizations


Moral Leadership in Medicine Building Ethical Healthcare Organizations by Suzanne Shale

What are the moral challenges that confront doctors as they manage healthcare institutions? How do we build trust in medical organisations? How do we conceptualize moral action? Based on accounts given by senior doctors from organisations throughout the UK, this book discusses the issues medical leaders find most troubling and identifies the moral tensions they face. Moral Leadership in Medicine examines in detail how doctors protect patients' interests, implement morally controversial change, manage colleagues in difficulty and rebuild trust after serious medical harm. The book discusses how leaders develop moral narratives to make sense of these situations, how they behave while balancing conflicting moral goals and how they influence those around them to do the right thing in difficult circumstances. Based on empirical ethical analysis, this volume is essential reading for clinicians in leadership roles and students and academics in the fields of healthcare management, medical law and healthcare ethics.


'Dr Shale's book is an outstanding contribution to medical ethics. Its combination of theoretical reflection and empirical research is robust and insightful. I believe that her examination of the ways personal, organizational and situational ethics interact is profound and important for understanding real world healthcare. She writes with wit and grace. This is a superb book, which should be on the desk of anyone who thinks seriously about medical ethics and about the organisation of healthcare.'
Richard Ashcroft, Queen Mary, University of London

'This unique study will be of great value to those who have a leadership role at all levels in healthcare organisations. Dr Shale has drawn on the real experience of medical leaders to produce a genuinely useful framework for understanding the moral challenges that are regularly faced by both clinicians and managers. In doing so, she has opened the way for discussion about how we manage the value tensions at the heart of the business of healthcare, how we meet the moral needs of the patients and families we serve, and what it means to lead with integrity.'
Dr Adrian Bull, Medical Director, Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

'Suzanne Shale has achieved a rare and impressive feat in combining theoretical rigour with empirical analysis in a way that make[s] her book uniquely valuable and insightful. This is a work that skilfully bridges the gap between the abstract and its application. It is an account that illustrates how moral questions and experiences are multi-layered and nuanced encompassing the systemic, organisational and personal. Dr Shale casts analytical light on areas of clinical management and leadership that have been overlooked within bioethics. This book is an original, scholarly and engaging work in which the author's thoughtful and wise perspective shines through on every page.'
Professor Deborah Bowman, St George

's, University of London'

About the Author

Dr Suzanne Shale conducts research, teaches and provides independent advice in the fields of medical ethics and patient experience. She is senior tutor in medical ethics in the School of Medicine, King's College London and holds a senior research role in the Health Experiences Research Group, University of Oxford. She works regularly with the Royal College of Surgeons and the General Medical Council. She has been a member of the National Social Care Research Ethics Committee since its inception, and was the first chair of the College of Emergency Medicine's Lay Advisory Group. She was previously Fellow and Lecturer in Law at New College, University of Oxford, and founding Director of the University's Institute for the Advancement of University Learning.

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Book Info

Publication date

22nd December 2011


Suzanne Shale

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Cambridge University Press


310 pages


Medical administration & management
Medical ethics & professional conduct
Medicolegal issues



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