- Purchase/rental options available:
COVID-19 revealed health-care systems in crisis. Intersecting crises of stress, overwork, and poor working conditions have led to workforce strain, under-staffing, and high rates of job turnover. Bioethics researchers have responded to these conditions by investigating the ethical challenges of pandemic response for individuals, institutions, and health systems. This essay draws on pandemic findings to explore how empirical bioethics can inform post-pandemic translational bioethics. Borrowing from the concept of translational science in medicine, this essay proposes that translational bioethics should communicate knowledge about ethical challenges in health-care work to support health systems change. The authors draw from their experience with the Study to Examine Physicians' Pandemic Stress (STEPPS), an interdisciplinary research project that investigates physicians' experiences at the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using STEPPS as an example of empirical bioethics with potential for translation, the authors review their research and discuss the ongoing process for translating their findings, focusing on how bioethics research and practice can contribute to supporting the health-care workforce.