Christian Bioethics (forthcoming)

Authors
Patrick Tully
University of Scranton
Abstract
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.
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DOI 10.1093/cb/cbaa023
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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.
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