Conscience wars intensify in the US

Bioedge | Xavier Symons | 13 MAY 2017

An article on conscientious objection in the New England Journal of Medicine has sparked outcry among conservative bioethicists. University of Pennsylvania bioethicists Ronit Y. Stahl and Ezekiel J. Emanuel argue that medical societies should “declare conscientious objection unethical” and remove conscience clauses from their codes of ethics.

According to the authors, “objection to providing patients interventions...that the profession deems to be effective, ethical, and standard treatments...is unjustifiable”. Stahl and Emanuel argue that doctors, in entering the medical profession, agree to abide by the ethical and professional standards of the profession: “By entering a health care profession, the person assumes a professional obligation to place the well-being and rights of patients at the center of professional practice.” Regardless of their personal religious objections, they “must provide the appropriate interventions as specified by the medical profession”.

Doctors who object to standard practice should choose between the following two options, the authors suggest: “select an area of medicine, such as radiology, that will not put them in situations that conflict with their personal morality or, if there is no such area, leave the profession.” Read more...

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...and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind ... the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind ...the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. -Genesis 1

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