Conscientious objection and compromising the patient: Response to Hughes

Bioethics 32 (7):473-476 (2018)
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Hughes offers a consequentialist response to our rejection of accommodation of conscientious objection in medicine. We argue here that his compromise proposition has been tried in many jurisdictions and has failed to deliver unimpeded access to care for eligible patients. The compromise position, entailing an accommodation of conscientious objection provided there is unimpeded access, fails to grasp that the objectors are both determined not to provide services they object to as well as to subvert patient access to the objected to services. Unpredictable future developments in drug R&D and resulting treatment and prevention options in medicine make the compromise position unrealistic.



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Udo Schüklenk
Queen's University

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