Allen Alvarez supports healthcare professionals in building moral wellness through ethics education, evaluation, analysis of ethical issues and moral distress consultation. He engages applied ethics scholarship to understand moral experience and standards that define good healthcare practices and decisions that help patients, families, healthcare professionals and communities to flourish in their moral wellness and resilience.
Using philosophy as a tool to increase understanding of complex concepts and issues as well as promote clarity of thought and communication, Allen partners with healthcare professionals and academic scholars to build knowledge through research and translate this to practical life. As an ethicist embedded in healthcare practices, Allen uses systematic methods in making sense of and addressing challenges people face in their quest to live well with meaning and purpose.
- Moral hazards in healthcare: what induces professionals to do what they believe is morally wrong. This exploratory program evaluation project reviews the ethics literature related to moral risks and moral hazard to develop a practical understanding of what health leaders can do to set up a good moral climate in work spaces.
- Levels of moral distress in healthcare. This program evaluation project invites healthcare professionals to assess their moral distress using Epstein and Hamric’s Measure of Moral Distress for Healthcare Professionals (MMD-HP) and use the results to provide participants a sense of the average moral distress experienced by their community. The intended direct impact is educational for participants as well as to inform interested healthcare leaders and policy makers about the average levels of moral distress experience by the participating population.
Selected Publications (Last five years)
- Alvarez, A., Stabell, E. D., & Thorseth, M. (2022). Freedom to avoid harm: Revisiting some core values that guide moral action. Etikk I Praksis – Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics, 16(1), 1-3. https://doi.org/10.5324/eip.v16i1.4935
- Alvarez, A., Fakih, S., & Jiwani, B. (2021). How to Eliminate Racism in Health Care: Building Diversity Competency in a Regional Health Authority in Canada. The American Journal of Bioethics, 21(2), 85-88. https://doi.org/10.1080/15265161.2020.1861374
- Alvarez, A., Dyrnes Stabell, E., Koksvik, G., & Thorseth, M. (2021). Fostering hope and resilience amidst intractable ethical dilemmas brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic . Etikk I Praksis – Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics, 15(2), 1-4. https://doi.org/10.5324/eip.v15i2.4537
- Alvarez, A, and Thorseth, M. (2019) “Intergenerational Justice and Obligations to Future Generations: Towards Environmental Rights in Land-Use Policy.” In Finance or Food? The Role of Cultures, Values, and Ethics in Land Use Negotiations, edited by Hilde Bjørkhaug, Philip McMichael and Bruce Muirhead, 243-269. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. https://doi.org/10.3138/9781487517236-013
- Alvarez, A. (2018). Does Professional Objectivity Require Clinical Ethicists to Be Neutral?. The American Journal of Bioethics, 18(6), 66-68. https://doi.org/10.1080/15265161.2018.1459936
- Alvarez, A., Stabell, E. D. ., & Thorseth, M. (2021). What our hopes and fears tell us about our values. Etikk I Praksis – Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics, 15(1), 1-4. https://doi.org/10.5324/eip.v15i1.4036
- Steele, D., & Alvarez, A. (2016). Should We Worry About the Possible Framing Effect of Ethical Theories?. J. Bioethics, 16, 46. https://doi.org/10.1080/15265161.2016.1196257
- Alvarez, A. (2016). Cultural diversity. Encyclopedia of global bioethics, 781-790. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-05544-2_128-1
Areas of Scholarship: Healthcare Ethics, Applied Ethics, Clinical Social Work Ethics, Healthcare rationing, Needs, Ethics of Cultural Diversity
Areas of Practice: Healthcare ethics education, evaluation and research, moral distress consultation