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Moral Philosophy Seminars 


MT15 Conscience And Conscientious Objection In Healthcare

MT15 Conscience And Conscientious Objection In Healthcare

23rd Nov 2015 9:15am - 24th Nov 2015 5:00pm

CONFERENCE: Conscience And Conscientious Objection In Healthcare

Dates: 23-24 November 2015

Venue: Oxford Martin School

Organizers: Julian Savulescu (University of Oxford), Alberto Giubilini (Charles Sturt University), Steve Clarke (Charles Sturt University)

Programme: PDF

The Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics (University of Oxford) and the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (Charles Sturt University) will host a conference on conscientious objection in medicine and the role of conscience in healthcare practitioners’ decision making.

The conference aimed at analyzing from a philosophical, ethical and legal perspective the meaning and the role of “conscience” in the healthcare profession. Conscientious objection by health professionals has become one of the most pressing problems in healthcare ethics. Health professionals are often required to perform activities that conflict with their own moral or religious beliefs (for example abortion). Their refusal can make it difficult for patients to have access to services they have a right to and, more in general, can create conflicts in the doctor-patient relationship. The widening of the medical options available today or in the near future is likely to sharpen these conflicts. Experts in bioethics, philosophy, law and medicine explored possible solutions.

The conference was supported by the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (DP 150102068). We are grateful to the Oxford Martin School for providing the venue for the conference.





Jeff McMahan 
Richard Sorabji 
Katrien Devolder

That's Oxford TV Report 




Aaron Ancell and Walter Sinnott Armstrong: We Want Kids, Too: Should Doctors be Allowed to Refuse to Help Gay Couples have Children?

Kimberley Brownlee: Medicine and morally messy relationships

Steve Clarke: Two concepts of conscience and their implications for conscience-based refusal

Tom Douglas: Refusing to treat sexual dysfunction in sex offenders

Alberto Giubilini: Objection to conscience. On good and bad objections in medicine

Jeanette Kennett: Kant, conscience, and professional roles

Hugh LaFollette: My conscience may be my guide, but you may not have to honour it

Francesca Minerva: Conscientious objection and complicity in wrongdoing

Julian Savulescu: The proper place of conscience and values

Roger Trigg: Conscientious objection and 'effective referral'

Mark Wicclair: Reasons, moral integrity, and conscientious objection

Dominic Wilkinson: Conscientious non-objection and medical dissensus in intensive care

Roundtable Discussion:  Various contributors