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This project seeks to provide a conceptual framework for understanding moral injury based on consensus across disciplines and professional groups that those returning from recent overseas operations have been affected morally by their experiences.
The term ‘moral injury’ was used by some American researchers who were of the view that something distinct was adversely affecting service personnel returning from combat operations. The term has also gained currency in parts of the popular press although moral injury is not regularly reported nor widely studied in Australia.
While there is presently a lack of definitional clarity owing to cultural and other factors, the morally injured struggle to discern good from bad, right from wrong in personal morality and social conventions after being exposed to collapsing norms of civil society where there is little or no regard for basic human rights and entitlements.
Moral injury does not only refer to the context of war but includes all forms of armed conflict, peacekeeping missions, humanitarian aid and disaster relief.