Project Logo

Protection of Conscience Project

Service, not Servitude
Periodicals & Papers


Childress JF. J Med Philos 1985 Feb;10(1):63-83 Civil disobedience, conscientious objection, and evasive noncompliance: a framework for the analysis and assessment of illegal actions in health care. PMID: 3981083

James F. Childress

  • Abstract:  This essay explores some of the conceptual and moral issues raised by illegal actions in health care. The author first identifies several types of illegal action, concentrating on civil disobedience, conscientious objection or refusal, and evasive noncompliance. Then he sketches a framework for the moral justification of these types of illegal action. Finally, he applies the conceptual and normative frameworks to several major cases of illegal action in health care, such as "mercy killing" and some decisions not to treat incompetent patients.

Downie R. Matters of conscience. Pervasive ethical problems. Nurs Mirror 1985 Jun 12;160(24):42  PMID: 3848934

R. Downie

Fritsche P. [Withholding therapy at the end of life? Can the physician still follow his conscience today?] HNO 1985 Dec;33(12):527-33 [Article in German] PMID: 4086344

P. Fritsche

Gangarosa EJ. JAMA 1985 Jul 12;254(2):265-6 (Editorial) Boundaries of conscience.  PMID: 3999372

Eugene J. Gangarosa

We buy a product - we expect it to be safe. We are especially incensed when products we purchase harm our children. We pay local, state, and federal officials to see that consumers are protected. We have a mechanism to ensure consumer protection - recall and prohibition of interstate shipment. But who protects the children of other lands against our products - products that we know cause disease? There is no mechanism. Our protection, indeed our conscience, seems to extend only to our borders. . .

Gillon R.  Conscience, good character, integrity, and to hell with philosophical medical ethics? Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985 May 18;290(6480):1497-8 PMID: 3922548

Ranaan Gillon

  • One of the recurring themes at the time of the Arthur case was what a good man and doctor Dr Arthur was, a man of integrity. A recurring theme throughout medical discussion of medical ethics, typified by the British Medical Association's Handbook of Medical Ethics,' is the importance of recourse to conscience. In addition to this positive attitude to the importance of good conscience, good character, and integrity, doctors often have a distinctly negative attitude to philosophical discussion, argument, and criticism concerning medical ethics. They agree with Dr Watt that too often it leads "to abstract and inconclusive intellectual argument-neither conducive to postprandial reflection nor necessarily relevant to the insistent demands on the busy practitioner throughout his day." As for the possible role of medical ethics in medical education, many no doubt agree with Professor Swales that, ... ethical philosophy is qualitatively different from and irrelevant to clinical teaching."

Hicks C.  Nurses and human rights. Matters of conscience. Nurs Times 1985 Jun 12-18;81(24):24-7 PMID: 3847923

C. Hicks

Pyne R.  Matters of conscience. No easy answers. Nurs Mirror 1985 Jan 9;160(2):27-8 PMID: 3844216

R. Pyne

Sieghart P. Professions as the conscience of societyJ Med Ethics. 1985 September; 11(3): 117–122

Paul Sieghart

  • Abstract:  Ethics is no less of a science than any other. It has its roots in conflicts ofinterest between human beings, and in their conflicting urges to behave either selfishly or altruistically. Resolving such conflicts leads to the specification of rules ofconduct, often expressed in terms ofrights and duties. In the special case of professsional ethics, the paramount rule ofconduct is altruism in the service ofa 'noble' cause, and this distinguishes true professions from other trades or occupations.

If professional ethics come into conflict with national laws, the professional today can test the legitimacy ofsuch laws by reference to internationally agreed legal standards in the field of human rights, and so help to perform the role of 'professions as the conscience of society'.

Warthen C. Refusing to follow orders: what's the cost of saying no? Nurs Life 1985 Jul-Aug;5(4):53-6  PMID: 11650739

C. Warthen