Conscientious Commitment to Women's Health

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 113, No. 2, pp. 163-166, 2011

4 Pages Posted: 7 May 2011  

Bernard Dickens

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Date Written: May 1, 2011

Abstract

Conscientious commitment, the reverse of conscientious objection, inspires healthcare providers to overcome barriers to delivery of reproductive services to protect and advance women’s health. History shows social reformers suffering religious condemnation and imprisonment to promote means of birth control, until access became popularly accepted. Voluntary sterilization generally followed this pattern to acceptance, but overcoming resistance to voluntary abortion calls for courage and remains challenging. The challenge is aggravated by religious doctrines that view treatment of ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous miscarriage and emergency contraception not by reference to women’s healthcare needs, but through the lens of abortion. However, modern legal systems increasingly reject this myopic approach. Providers’ conscientious commitment is to deliver treatments directed to women’s healthcare needs, giving priority to patient care over adherence to conservative religious doctrines or religious self-interest. The development of in vitro fertilization to address childlessness further illustrates the inspiration of conscientious commitment over conservative objections.

Keywords: Abortion, Contraception, Ectopic pregnancy, Emergency contraception, In vitro fertilization, Spontaneous miscarriage, Sterilization

JEL Classification: I18, K14, K10

Suggested Citation

Dickens, Bernard and Cook, Rebecca J., Conscientious Commitment to Women's Health (May 1, 2011). International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 113, No. 2, pp. 163-166, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1832549

Bernard Dickens (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4849 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 Queen's Park Cr.
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4446 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

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