Should professional interpreters be able to conscientiously object in healthcare settings?

Journal of Medical Ethics:medethics-2019-105767 (forthcoming)

Nathan Emmerich
Australian National University
In a globalised world, healthcare professionals will inevitably find themselves caring for patients whose first language differs from their own. Drawing on experiences in Australia, this paper examines a specific problem that can arise in medical consultations using professional interpreters: whether the moral objections of interpreters should be accommodated as conscientious objections if and when their services are required in contexts where healthcare professionals have such entitlements, most notably in relation to consultations concerning termination of pregnancy and voluntary assisted dying. We argue that existing statements of professional ethics suggest that interpreters should not be accorded such rights. The social organisation of healthcare and interpreting services in Australia may mean those who have serious objections to particular medical practices could provide their services in restricted healthcare contexts. Nevertheless, as a general rule, interpreters who have such objections should avoid working within healthcare.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1136/medethics-2019-105767
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,405
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

Conscientious Objection by Health Care Professionals.Gry Wester - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (7):427-437.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Organization Ethics in Healthcare.Patricia H. Werhane & Mary V. Rorty - 2000 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 9 (2):145-146.
For an Ethnomethodology of Healthcare Ethics.Nathan Emmerich - 2013 - Health Care Analysis 21 (4):372-389.
My Conscience May Be My Guide, but You May Not Need to Honor It.Hugh Lafollette - 2017 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 26 (1):44-58.
Responsibilities for Healthcare - Kantian Reflections.Garrath Williams & Ruth Chadwick - 2012 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 21 (2):155-165.
Why Autonomy Needs Help.Arthur Caplan - 2014 - Journal of Medical Ethics 40 (5):301-302.
Negative and Positive Claims of Conscience.Mark R. Wicclair - 2009 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 18 (1):14.


Added to PP index

Total views
2 ( #1,298,731 of 2,286,214 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #576,788 of 2,286,214 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature