Ashley Hurst, an attorney, former partner at an Atlanta firm where she practiced employment discrimination law, earned a master's of divinity and a master's of religious ethics. Hurst teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on clinical and legal ethics in healthcare to nursing students and others across Grounds. The former Thomas G. Bell Clinical Ethics Fellow in the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities in the UVA School of Medicine, Hurst earned degrees from the University of Florida, Yale Divinity School, and the University of Virginia.

Her research focuses on preventative ethics - setting up systems that allow clinicians to assess situations that are likely to become ethics dilemmas, and intervene beforehand - and moral distress. A regular presentor, she has published papers on moral distress and narrative ethics topics.

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live." Joan Didion

Research Focus

Moral distress, narrative ethics, preventative ethics, and clinical and legal ethics in healthcare.

Teaching Focus

Clinical and legal ethics in healthcare.


Journal Articles

Epstein, E. G., Hurst, A. R., Bourne, D. & Marshall, M. F. (2023). Measure for measure: Condemning the actor and not the fault. The American Journal of Bioethics, 23(4), 66-68.

Kelly, T., & Hurst, A. (2023). Can expired drugs be used ethically in LMICs? Treating pediatric hemophilia. The Journal of Pediatrics, 257, 113269.

Hurst, A., Castaneda, B., & Ramsdale, E. (2019). Deliberate indifference: Inadequate health care in U.S. prisons. Annals of Internal Medicine, 170(8), 563.

Hurst, A. R. & Moses, B. A. (2018). Providing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation to a Jehovah's Witness. Critical Connections Journal by the SCCM, 0, 1.

Epstein, E., & Hurst, A. (2017). Looking at the positive side of moral distress: Why it's a problem. The Journal of Clinical Ethics, 28(1), 37-41.

Hurst, A. R., Vergales, S., Paget-Brown, B. D., Lantos, D., & Mercurio, A. (2016). Tough decisions for premature triplets. Pediatrics, 137(2), 1-5.

Epstein, E. G., Hurst, A. R., Mahanes, D., Marshall, M. F., & Hamric, A. B. (2016). Is broader better? American Journal of Bioethics, 16(12), 15-17.

Hurst, A., Mahanes, D., & Marshall, M.F. (2014). Dax's Case Redux: When Comes the End of the Day? Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics. The John Hopkins University Press, (4)2, pp. 171-177.


Dolgin, J., Hurst, A., & Shepherd, L. (2024). Bioethics and the Law, 5th edition. Aspen Publishers.

Book Sections

Epstein, E.G., Whitehead, P.B., Mahanes, D., Amos, V., Hurst, A. (2023). Preventing and addressing moral distress. In J. Davidson (Ed, ), Workplace wellness: A primer for leaders in healthcare (pp. 0-Springer Nature).

Hurst, A. R. (2021). Self-care and systemic change: What you need to know. In D. Fontaine, T. Cunningham, & N. B. May (Eds.), Self-care for new and student nurses (1st ed., pp. 212-225). Sigma Theta Tau International.

Columns, Editorials and Op-Eds

Bourque, J.M., Hurst, A.R., & Marshall, M.F. (2013, October 6). Letter to the editor: Mortality reporting and pay-for-performance programs [Editorial]. Journal of the American Medical Association. 404-405.