Conscience and Collective Duties: Do Medical Professionals Have a Collective Duty to Ensure That Their Profession Provides Non-Discriminatory Access to All Medical Services?
Parker, Joseph Clint
The Journal of medicine and philosophy 2011 Feb; 36(1): 28-52
Recent debates have led some to question the legitimacy of physicians refusing to provide legally permissible services for reasons of conscience. In this paper, I will explore the question of whether medical professionals have a collective duty to ensure that their profession provides nondiscriminatory access to all medical services. I will argue that they do not. I will also argue for an approach to dealing with intractable moral disagreements between patients and physicians that gives both parties veto power with regards to participation. Finally, I will respond to three objections to allowing physicians broad freedom to act on their consciences: such allowances would violate the conscience of the patient, would lead to unfairness, and would thwart important societal goals.
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