Workshop: Respect and Shame in Healthcare and Bioethics

“Respect and Shame in Healthcare and Bioethics” Workshop Series



Barry Lyons, Children’s Health, Ireland – “Stigma and the Mental Health of Healthcare Workers.”

+ ECR presentation from Nataliya Shok , Privolzhsky Research Medical University – “Medical Error as a Stigma: The Moral Code in Healthcare Practice and Bioethics in Russia.”

This workshop is part of the Respect and Shame in Healthcare Bioethics Workshop Series, and is organised at the University of Exeter by the Wellcome Trust funded Shame and Medicine Project, and Supriya Subramani, Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine, University of Zurich.

Stigma and the Mental Health of Healthcare Workers (Barry Lyons).

It has been estimated that when compared with the general population healthcare professionals (HCPs) experience increased levels of emotional and psychological distress, mental illness, and possibly higher rates of completed suicide. It is also proposed that some personality characteristics such as perfectionism and obsessionality, that are frequently associated with positive characteristics (e.g. being hard-working and conscientious), may predispose HCPs to emotional perturbations or mental ill-health, and impact upon their use of mental health services.

Stigma has been considered “the most formidable obstacle to future progress in the area of mental illness and health”, and for HCPs may play a significant role in exacerbating their difficulties. Self- or perceived societal stigma can result in deferred or non-disclosure of vulnerabilities or problems, and ultimately in avoidance of help-seeking.

For the purposes of this seminar stigma refers to a collection of four socio-cognitive processes – cues, stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. Within healthcare institutions it becomes manifest in language, disrespect in interpersonal and interprofessional relationships, and in the behaviours of fellow professionals. It is also (in)visible in constructs such as “grit” or “resilience”, promulgated by healthcare organisations to deflect responsibility for ‘mental survival’, or wellbeing, onto the individual HCP.

This seminar presents a discussion about stigma, and highlights some of constructs that can be employed to evaluate the role of mental health stigma within the “caring” professions.

Barry Lyons graduated in medicine from University College Dublin in 1989, has a BA in philosophy & history (2007), and a PhD in Bioethics & Medical Jurisprudence (University of Manchester, 2011). He practices in the Dept. of Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine at Children’s Health Ireland, Crumlin, where he is also Clinical Lead in Patient Safety, and Chair of the hospital’s Ethics Committee. He is Director of Patient Safety at the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland. His research interests relate to the role of negative emotions in medicine, and the interface between law, regulation and medicine. He is a collaborator on the Shame and Medicine Project.

Medical Error as a Stigma: The Moral Code in Healthcare Practice and Bioethics in Russia (Nataliya Shok).

The event is finished.


Nov 19 2021


8:00 am - 10:50 am

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