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Conscientious Objection by Health Care Providers

Thaddeus Mason Pope

Hamline University - School of Law

January 6, 2011

Lahey Clinic Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol. 18, No. 1, Winter 2011

Conscience clauses are state and federal statutes and regulations that protect the rights of health care providers to decline to provide or participate in health services that violate their religious or moral beliefs. But for such legal protection a provider’s refusal of treatment could result in civil, criminal and/or disciplinary sanctions. Conscience clauses vary in strength and scope. But there is increasing consensus that the right of the provider to conscientiously object to the performance of health services must be balanced against the need to ensure patient access to those services. This brief article observes that two key components of this equilibrium are the duty to transfer and the duty to treat in emergency situations.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 2

Keywords: conscience clauses, conscientious objection, health care providers, health law

JEL Classification: K32

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Date posted: January 9, 2011 ; Last revised: November 6, 2013

Suggested Citation

Pope, Thaddeus Mason, Conscientious Objection by Health Care Providers (January 6, 2011). Lahey Clinic Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol. 18, No. 1, Winter 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1736183

Contact Information

Thaddeus Mason Pope (Contact Author)
Hamline University - School of Law ( email )
1536 Hewitt Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55104-1237
United States
651-523-2519 (Phone)
901-202-7549 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: www.thaddeuspope.com
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