Christian Bioethics (forthcoming)

Patrick Tully
University of Scranton
One contested moral commitment shared by the American Medical Association and American Nurses Association has to do with the place of conscience in the practice of medicine. These organizations, each in their own way, urge their respective members to engage in careful moral discernment regarding their professional life, and they assert the existence of an obligation on the part of others to respect the conscientious objections of healthcare professionals and to accommodate objecting individuals. Yet despite the value that these organizations place on conscience and objector rights, these organizations do not offer elaborate philosophical defenses of their positions. This shortcoming is exposed by the light of contemporary philosophical challenges to conscience-friendly policies. What such challenges demand is a philosophical defense of these organizations’ moral commitments and corresponding policy recommendations. The point of this article is to indicate how the Catholic philosophical tradition’s account of the nature and importance of conscience can philosophically underwrite these organizations’ conscience-related principles and practices. It can be seen, then, that the Catholic tradition is far from inimical to the contemporary practice of medicine and that, on the contrary, this tradition offers philosophically serious grounds on which to rest some of the most morally significant values and guidelines endorsed by these contemporary health-professional organizations and their members.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/cb/cbaa023
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 72,607
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Practical Principles, Moral Truth, and Ultimate Ends.G. Grisez, J. Boyle & J. Finnis - 1987 - American Journal of Jurisprudence 32 (1):99-151.
Fundamentals of Ethics. [REVIEW]John Finnis - 1985 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 23:164-168.
Moral Injury.Jonathan Shay - 2012 - Intertexts 16 (1):57-66.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Modern Moral Conscience.Tom O’Shea - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (4):582-600.
Saint John Paul II on Conscience and Truth.Randall Woodard - 2020 - Catholic Social Science Review 25:217-223.
What is Conscience and Why is Respect for It so Important?Daniel P. Sulmasy - 2008 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 29 (3):135-149.
La Mauvaise Conscience. [REVIEW]J. V. M. - 1966 - Review of Metaphysics 20 (1):153-154.
Conscience, Moral Reasoning, and Skepticism.Larry R. Churchill - 2019 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 62 (3):519-526.
Conscience, Conscientious Objections, and Medicine.Rosamond Rhodes - 2019 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 40 (6):487-506.
Kant and Moral Imputation: Conscience and the Riddle of the Given.Jason J. Howard - 2004 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 78 (4):609-627.
The Concept of Institutional Conscience.Elliott Louis Bedford - 2012 - The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 12 (3):409-420.


Added to PP index

Total views
6 ( #1,140,930 of 2,533,641 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #389,998 of 2,533,641 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes