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How to Allow Conscientious Objection in Medicine While Protecting Patient Rights

Abstract
Abstract:

Paradigmatic cases of conscientious objection in medicine are those in which a physician refuses to provide a medical service or good because doing so would conflict with that physician’s personal moral or religious beliefs. Should such refusals be allowed in medicine? We argue that (1) many conscientious objections to providing certain services must be allowed because they fall within the range of freedom that physicians have to determine which services to offer in their practices; (2) at least some conscientious objections to serving particular groups of patients should be allowed because they are not invidiously discriminatory; and (3) even in cases of invidiously discriminatory conscientious objections, legally prohibiting individual physicians from refusing to serve patients on the basis of such objections is not always the best solution.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

MR Wicclair . Conscientious Objection in Health Care: An Ethical Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2011.

S Strickland . Conscientious objection in medical students: A questionnaire survey. Journal of Medical Ethics 2012;38(1):22–5.

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Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics
  • ISSN: 0963-1801
  • EISSN: 1469-2147
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-quarterly-of-healthcare-ethics
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