Should Conscientious Objection Be Legal?

1789 WordsMar 12, 20168 Pages
An issue of concern to many healthcare professionals is how much power they have to refuse patients care using conscientious objection as grounds to avoid doing procedures, prescribing medications, or in the pharmacists’ case even simply filling a medication that goes against their personal beliefs or ethical values. This paper is written to defend a moderate stance that healthcare professionals do have the right to use conscientious objection in the instance that something is physically required of the physician to preform that is against their ethical standards but do not have the right in lesser situations. To put it practically, a physician has rights to conscientious objection but perhaps the right is limited in majority of the cases. In this paper I will be using the definition offered by Robert F. Card to define conscientious objection which is as follows, “I will understand conscientious objection as a refusal to comply with a request based on personal moral or religiously-inspired moral reasons.” (Card 2007) There are many situations in which a healthcare professional may try to use conscientious objection to avoid having to perform certain tasks or even to refuse treatment or referral outright. Some of these situations include, abortions, distribution of emergency contraceptives, physician assisted suicide, chemotherapy, etc. The list goes on and on and I will draw upon a variety of different situations to draw my conclusions. To begin I will isolate a list of

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