Abstract: The work of public safety personnel (PSP; e.g. firefighters, police officers, and paramedics, among others) is essential to society but is practically and ethically complex, especially with the increased challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The strain on mental health in this population of workers and volunteers has been the focus of recent research. New programs and strategies are being developed and implemented in order to address the causes and implications of mental health problems at the individual and organizational levels in Canada and elsewhere. Yet, the properly ethical aspects of the work and work conditions of PSP have largely fallen outside the scope of public health research. There are few empirical studies on moral distress and moral injury of Canadian PSP, and the rich and complex moral life of these workers is often obfuscated by a pervasive, stoic, militaristic moral model that generally aligns with narrow biomedical treatment approaches. We argue that the lack of attention to the public, social, and ethical aspects of the moral distress and moral injuries experienced by PSP in Canada warrants greater public and academic awareness, more research on experiences of moral distress and moral injury in PSP, and evidence-informed training and support programs for individuals and organizations.


Racine Eric, Cioaba Ilinca Maria, Boehlen Wren. Ethical aspects of the work conditions of public safety personnel: A need for attention and solidarity, Canadian Journal of Public Health, https://link.springer.com/article/10.17269/s41997-023-00744-x / DOI: 10.17269/s41997-023-00744-x.