Enough already about conscientious objection in voluntary assisted dying – what about the conscientious participants?

By Jodhi Rutherford There is a copious literature on conscientious objection in voluntary assisted dying (VAD), also known as MAID, voluntary euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, or death with dignity. Yet, there has been relative silence in the bioethics literature on what might motivate ‘conscientious participation’ in VAD, whereby clinicians may actively, morally, and purposively support the […]

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Caring for each other through the ethical challenges of MAiD in Canada

By Mary Kathleen Deutscher Heilman and Tracy J. Trothen Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) generates strong emotions among Canadians. What has been striking to us is the fact that while academics have been engaged in an epic battle about who has a right to what protections under the law, the average person seems to want […]

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Unpacking freedom of conscience in light of obligatory referrals in Canadian healthcare

By Christina Lamb. The recent defeat of a freedom of conscience bill, Bill 207, in Alberta, Canada, highlights the ethical problem of effective referrals elsewhere in the country. Particularly in the jurisdiction of Ontario where in the past year, physicians have been mandated by their regulatory College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSO) and the Ontario […]

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Why we should still accommodate conscientious objection for abortion

By Bruce P. Blackshaw and Daniel Rodger. Over the last few years there has been a vigorous and fascinating debate about the use of conscientious objection (CO) in healthcare. CO is when doctors (and other healthcare professionals) opt-out of providing a medical service because they have serious moral objections—abortion is a widely cited example. If […]

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Physicians as public servants: why physicians have no business discussing religion with patients

By Jake Greenblum & Ryan Hubbard. It is generally agreed that healthy liberal democracies have a robust separation between church and state. However, controversy arises when interpreting the appropriate place of religion in the public sphere, including the proper role of religion in medicine. Just consider the current political debate in the US on medical […]

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The Truth Behind Conscientious Objection in Medicine

By Nir Ben-Moshe. Conscientious objection in medicine has become a topic of heated debate in recent years, but answers to the question of what justifies such objections in medicine have proven to be elusive. According to the two primary justifications found in the literature, conscientious objection in medicine is justified either out of respect for […]

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