David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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American Journal of Bioethics 7 (12):10 – 14 (2007)
What role should the physician's conscience play in the practice of medicine? Much controversy has surrounded the question, yet little attention has been paid to the possibility that disputants are operating with contrasting definitions of the conscience. To illustrate this divergence, we contrast definitions stemming from Abrahamic religions and those stemming from secular moral tradition. Clear differences emerge regarding what the term conscience conveys, how the conscience should be informed, and what the consequences are for violating one's conscience. Importantly, these basic disagreements underlie current controversies regarding the role of the clinician's conscience in the practice of medicine. Consequently participants in ongoing debates would do well to specify their definitions of the conscience and the reasons for and implications of those definitions. This specification would allow participants to advance a more philosophically and theologically robust conversation about the means and ends of medicine.
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References found in this work BETA
Thomas Hobbes (2012/2006). Leviathan. Clarendon Press.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (2004/2006). The Social Contract. Penguin Books.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1990/2003). Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future. Penguin Books.
Alasdair Macintyre (1991). Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry: Encyclopaedia, Genealogy, and Tradition. Inquiry 34:255.
Citations of this work BETA
Dan W. Brock (2008). Conscientious Refusal by Physicians and Pharmacists: Who is Obligated to Do What, and Why? Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 29 (3):187-200.
Mark R. Wicclair (2007). The Moral Significance of Claims of Conscience in Healthcare. American Journal of Bioethics 7 (12):30 – 31.
Julian Savulescu (2007). The Proper Place of Values in the Delivery of Medicine. American Journal of Bioethics 7 (12):21 – 22.
Hugh LaFollette (2007). The Physician's Conscience. American Journal of Bioethics 7 (12):15 – 17.
Sean Murphy & Stephen J. Genuis (2013). Freedom of Conscience in Health Care: Distinctions and Limits. [REVIEW] Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 10 (3):347-354.
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