Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 46 (2):188-218 (2021)

Will Smith
University of Pennsylvania
Robert N. Audi
University of Notre Dame
Debates about the ethics of health care and medical research in contemporary pluralistic democracies often arise partly from competing religious and secular values. Such disagreements raise challenges of balancing claims of religious liberty with claims to equal treatment in health care. This paper proposes several mid-level principles to help in framing sound policies for resolving such disputes. We develop and illustrate these principles, exploring their application to conscientious objection by religious providers and religious institutions, accommodation of religious priorities in biomedical research, and treatment of patients’ religious views in doctor–patient encounters. Given that no sound set of guiding principles yields precise solutions for every policy dispute, we explore how morally sound democracies might deliberatively resolve such policy issues, following our proposed principles. Taken together and carefully interpreted, these principles may help in guiding difficult decision making in the indefinitely large realm where government, medical providers, and patients encounter problems concerning religion and medicine.
Keywords conscience  mid-level principle  normative principles  professional obligations  religious accommodation  special obligations
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhaa038
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References found in this work BETA

Principles of Biomedical Ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - Oxford University Press.
After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory.Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 1983 - University of Notre Dame Press.
The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
What is the Point of Equality.Elizabeth Anderson - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):287-337.
Just Health: Meeting Health Needs Fairly.Norman Daniels - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Whose (Ir)Religion? Which Bioethics?Benjamin N. Parks - 2021 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 46 (2):147-155.
Considerations of Conscience.Bryan Pilkington - 2021 - HEC Forum 33 (3):165-174.

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