Rights of Conscience vs. Peer-Driven Medical Ethics: ACOG and Abortion
LIFE & LEARNING XVIII, PROCEEDINGS OF THE EIGHTEENTH UNIVERSITY FACULTY FOR LIFE CONFERENCE AT MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY 2008, Joseph W. Koterski, S.J., ed., University Faculty for Life, 2011
33 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2011
In 2007, the Ethics Committee of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) published an opinion prescribing the limits of conscientious refusal in reproductive medicine. However, as this article demonstrates, the opinion was heavily slanted in favor of the patient’s right to receive reproductive procedures such as abortion or contraceptives. ACOG is unwilling to acknowledge the full power of healthcare providers’ right of conscience, and it fails to articulate reasonable alternatives when conflict arises. The language of the opinion is prejudicial, flawed, and incomplete. When compared with early American constitutional history, the erroneous reasoning of the opinion becomes even more apparent. There is ample evidence provided by many founding members of the United States about the important and essential place that rights of conscience have been afforded in the Constitution. Healthcare providers’ right of conscience must be respected in society.
Keywords: Right of Conscience, Abortion, Healthcare Provider
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