The New Bioethics 25 (3):262-282 (2019)

Michal Pruski
University of Manchester
A key question has been underexplored in the literature on conscientious objection: if a physician is required to perform ‘medical activities,’ what is a medical activity? This paper explores the question by employing a teleological evaluation of medicine and examining the analogy of military conscripts, commonly cited in the conscientious objection debate. It argues that physicians (and other healthcare professionals) can only be expected to perform and support medical acts – acts directed towards their patients’ health. That is, physicians cannot be forced to provide or support services that are not medical in nature, even if such activities support other socially desirable pursuits. This does not necessarily mean that medical professionals cannot or should not provide non-medical services, but only that they are under no obligation to provide them.
Keywords Conscientious objection  philosophy of medicine  medical act  health care professionals  professional practice  professionalism
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DOI 10.1080/20502877.2019.1649871
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References found in this work BETA

After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory.Samuel Scheffler - 1983 - Philosophical Review 92 (3):443.
Natural Law and Natural Rights.Richard Tuck - 1981 - Philosophical Quarterly 31 (124):282-284.
Whose Justice? Which Rationality?Alasdair Macintyre - 1988 - Philosophy 64 (250):564-566.

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Citations of this work BETA

Conscientious Objection and Systemic Injustice.Michal Pruski - 2020 - Clinical Ethics (3):147775092090345.

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The Imperative of Conscientious Objection in Medical Practice.Paschal M. Corby - 2018 - The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 18 (4):611-618.


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