Is it ethical for a general practitioner to claim a conscientious objection when asked to refer for abortion?

Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (10):599-602 (2009)
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Abortion is one of the most divisive topics in healthcare. Proponents and opponents hold strong views. Some health workers who oppose abortion assert a right of conscientious objection to it, a position itself that others find unethical. Even if allowance for objection should be made, it is not clear how far it should extend. Can conscientious objection be given as a reason not to refer when a woman requests her doctor to do so? This paper explores the idea of the general practitioner (GP) who declines to make a direct referral for abortion, asking the woman to see another GP instead. The purpose is to defend the claim that an appeal to conscientious objection in this way can be reasonable and ethical



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References found in this work

Conscientious objection in medicine.Mark R. Wicclair - 2000 - Bioethics 14 (3):205–227.
Ethics in Medicine.Jennifer Jackson - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (226):148-151.
Ethics in medicine.Jennifer C. Jackson - 2007 - Malden, Me.: Polity.
The role of conscience in medical ethics.Piers Benn - 2005 - In Nafsika Athanassoulis (ed.), Philosophical Reflections on Medical Ethics. Palgrave-Macmillan.

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