An obligation to provide abortion services: what happens when physicians refuse?

Journal of Medical Ethics 22 (2):115-120 (1996)

Christopher Meyers
California State University, Bakersfield
Access to abortion services in the United States continues to decline. It does so not because of significant changes in legislation or court rulings but because fewer and fewer physicians wish to perform abortions and because most states now have "conscientious objection" legislation that makes it easy for physicians to refuse to do so. We argue in this paper that physicians have an obligation to perform all socially sanctioned medical services, including abortions, and thus that the burden of justification lies upon those who wish to be excused from that obligation. That is, such persons should have to show how requiring them to perform abortions would represent a serious threat to their fundamental moral or religious beliefs. We use current California law as an example of legislation that does not take physicians' obligations into account and thus allows them too easily to declare conscientious objection
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1136/jme.22.2.115
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: 39,951
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

When Should Conscientious Objection Be Accepted?M. Magelssen - 2012 - Journal of Medical Ethics 38 (1):18-21.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Abortion as Murder?: A Response.Jim Stone - 1995 - Journal of Social Philosophy 26 (1):129-146.
Abortion and Referrals for Abortion: Is the Law in Need of Change?Demian Whiting - 2011 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 17 (5):1006-1008.
Physicians' Duties and the Non-Identity Problem.Tony Hope & John McMillan - 2012 - American Journal of Bioethics 12 (8):21 - 29.
No Exceptionalism Needed to Treat Terrorists.Chiara Lepora, Marion Danis & Alan Wertheimer - 2009 - American Journal of Bioethics 9 (10):53-54.
Conscientious Objection and Emergency Contraception.Robert F. Card - 2007 - American Journal of Bioethics 7 (6):8 – 14.
HIV and the Obligation to Treat.Mark Sheldon - 1990 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 11 (3).


Added to PP index

Total views
101 ( #72,705 of 2,235,908 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #758,721 of 2,235,908 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature