Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (9):649-650 (2018)

In her paper ‘Cosmetic surgery and conscientious objection’, Minerva rightly identifies cosmetic surgery as an interesting test case for the question of conscientious objection in medicine. Her treatment of this important subject, however, seems problematic. It is argued that Minerva's suggestion that a doctor has a prima facie duty to satisfy patient preferences even against his better clinical judgment, which we call Patient Preference Absolutism, must be regarded with scepticism. This is because it overlooks an important distinction regarding autonomy's meaning and place in clinical practice, and it makes obsolete the important concepts of expert clinical judgment and beneficence. Finally, we discuss two ideas which emerge from consideration of cosmetic surgery in relation to conscientious objection. These are the possible analogy between clinical judgment and conscientious objection, and the possible role the goals of medicine can play in defining the scope of conscientious objection.
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DOI 10.1136/medethics-2017-104261
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Principles of Biomedical Ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - Oxford University Press.
Conscientious Objection in Italy: Table 1.Francesca Minerva - 2015 - Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (2):170-173.
Cosmetic Surgery and Conscientious Objection.Francesca Minerva - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (4):230-233.

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Cosmetic Surgery and Conscientious Objection.Francesca Minerva - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (4):230-233.
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When Should Conscientious Objection Be Accepted.Morten Magelssen - 2012 - Journal of Medical Ethics 38 (1):18-21.


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