Personal Statement

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


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.

Research Focus

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

Teaching Focus

Clinical and legal ethics in healthcare.


Journal Articles

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. doi:10.1080/15265161.2016.1242669

Magazine Editorials

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, 310(13), 404-405.