A Defence of Conscientious Objection in Medicine: A Reply to Schuklenk and Savulescu

Bioethics 30 (4):358-364 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In a recent Bioethics editorial, Udo Schuklenk argues against allowing Canadian doctors to conscientiously object to any new euthanasia procedures approved by Parliament. In this he follows Julian Savulescu's 2006 BMJ paper which argued for the removal of the conscientious objection clause in the 1967 UK Abortion Act. Both authors advance powerful arguments based on the need for uniformity of service and on analogies with reprehensible kinds of personal exemption. In this article I want to defend the practice of conscientious objection in publicly-funded healthcare systems, at least in the area of abortion and end-of-life care, without entering either of the substantive moral debates about the permissibility of either. My main claim is that Schuklenk and Savulescu have misunderstood the special nature of medicine, and have misunderstood the motivations of the conscientious objectors. However, I acknowledge Schuklenk's point about differential access to lawful services in remote rural areas, and I argue that the health service should expend more to protect conscientious objection while ensuring universal access

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,429

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

When Should Conscientious Objection Be Accepted.Morten Magelssen - 2012 - Journal of Medical Ethics 38 (1):18-21.
Conscientious Objection by Health Care Professionals.Gry Wester - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (7):427-437.

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-12-10

Downloads
139 (#88,871)

6 months
6 (#123,691)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?