The Scope and Limits of Conscientious Objection

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 71, pp. 71-77, 2000

7 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2006

See all articles by Bernard Dickens

Bernard Dickens

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Abstract

participation in medical procedures to which they hold conscientious objections. However, they cannot decline participation in procedures to save life or continuing health. Physicians who refuse to perform procedures on religious grounds must refer their patients to non-objecting practitioners. When physicians refuse to accept applicants as patients for procedures to which they object, governmental healthcare administrators must ensure that non-objecting providers are reasonably accessible. Nurses' conscientious objections to participate directly in procedures they find religiously offensive should be accommodated, but nurses cannot object to giving patients indirect aid. Medical and nursing students cannot object to be educated about procedures in which they would not participate, but may object to having to perform them under supervision. Hospitals cannot usually claim an institutional conscientious objection, nor discriminate against potential staff applicants who would not object to participation in particular procedures.

Keywords: Conscientious objection, Abortion objection, Sterilization objection, Nurses' conscientious objection, Pharmacists' conscientious objection, Religiously-based hospitals, Hospital conscientious objection, Employment non-discrimination

JEL Classification: I18, K19

Suggested Citation

Dickens, Bernard and Cook, Rebecca J., The Scope and Limits of Conscientious Objection. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 71, pp. 71-77, 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=946461

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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