The Lawyer on Your Side: The Power of the Interprofessional Team in Preventing Moral Distress and Empathy Erosion

  • Natalie CastellanosEmail author
  • Marin Gillis


Frustration in meeting challenges associated with the healthcare system and social determinants of patients’ health have been cited as causes of moral distress leading to erosion of clinician empathy. Including non-traditional health professions like law on interprofessional teams offers advocacy services that address patients’ social needs and may facilitate health systems change, aiding clinicians’ ability to treat illness and enhance quality of life. By including lawyers as partners in health care, health professionals gain knowledge and potential allies that address non-medical influences impacting health, and prevent causes of their own moral distress and empathy erosion.


Medical–legal partnership Moral distress Empathy erosion Social determinants of health Advocacy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Humanities, Health and Society, Herbert Wertheim College of MedicineFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Division of Ethics, Humanities, and the Arts (DEHA), Department of Humanities, Health and SocietyHerbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International UniversityMiamiUSA

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