Religious Outliers: Professional Knowledge Communities, Individual Conscience Claims, and the Availability of Professional Services to the Public
Law, Religion, and Health in the United States (Holly Fernandez Lynch, I. Glenn Cohen, & Elizabeth Sepper eds. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2017 Forthcoming)
12 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2016 Last revised: 27 Jul 2016
Date Written: July 14, 2016
Clients typically consult professionals because they want to access a useful body of knowledge professionals possess in order to solve an individual problem. To achieve that goal, the client depends on accurate and comprehensive professional advice. But professionals sometimes depart from or do not deploy the full range of professional knowledge. The professional might have a political, philosophical, or religious disagreement with her profession. Or she might have a scientific disagreement with the profession. This chapter examines justifications for departure from core professional knowledge.
This chapter conceptualizes conscience claims of professionals as claims of outliers that may place them outside of their professional knowledge communities. It focuses on the religiously based outlier status of professionals providing health services. This chapter analyzes the tension among individual conscience claims, professional duties, and the availability of professional services to the public. Closer consideration of stakeholders’ duties to one another permits a normative reevaluation of such claims. Understanding the professions as knowledge communities and investigating professionals’ attendant duties sheds new light on these tensions and points toward a conceptual solution.
Keywords: First Amendment, professional speech, religion, healthcare
JEL Classification: K10, K13, K20, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation