Conscience in the Practice of the Health Professions
The President's Council on Bioethics1
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Members of the Panel
Anne Drapkin Lyerly , M.D.
Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Duke University School of Medicine
Howard Brody , M.D. , Ph.D. John P. McGovern Centennial
Chair in Family Medicine and Director, Institute for
the Medical Humanities, University of Texas Medical
Farr Curlin, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Associate, MacLean
Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, University of Chicago
Edmund D. Pellegrino, M.D.
Georgetown University Medical Center
Members of the Council participating in discussion
Robert P. George, J.D., D.Phil.
Peter Augustine Lawler, Ph.D.
Alfonso Gomez-Lobo, D.Phil.
Janet D. Rowley, M.D.
University of Chicago
Paul McHugh, M.D.
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Benjamin S. Carson, M.D.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Rebecca S. Dresser, J.D., M.S.
Donald W. Landry, M.D., Ph.D.
William B. Hurlburt, M.D.
Gilbert C. Meilaender, Ph.D.
Jean Beth Elshtain, Ph.D
University of Chicago
CHAIRMAN PELLEGRINO: Thank
you. Thank you members of the Council. You're here on time,
and we'll begin on time. This afternoon we turn our attention
to the question of conscience in the practice of the health
professions, moving from the somewhat more conceptual and
theoretical aspect to the actual difficulty and problem
of conflict between conscience and the requirements of patients,
society, et cetera, et cetera.
We're going to function as a modified panel, and I will
introduce the members of the panel, and they will get an
opportunity to speak in succession, and then following that
members of the Council will participate in a discussion.
The members of the group are — beginning on my right,
Dr. Farr Curlin , Assistant Professor of Medicine, Associate
at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the
University of Chicago .
Next is Dr. Howard Brody , John P. McGovern Centennial
Chair in Family Medicine and Director of the Institute for
the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical
branch, and Dr. Anne Drapkin Lyerly , Associate Professor
of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Duke University School of
Medicine, and Chair of the Ethics Committee at the American
College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. And Dr. Lyerly has
asked us to point out that she is presenting on her own
behalf and she is not representing the American College
of Obstetrics and Gynecology or its ethics committee.
I think we'll immediately move into the program by asking
Dr. Lyerly if she would kick off the panel. [. . .
Notes (Provided by the Protection of
President's Council on Bioethics
was appointed by President George W. Bush and
operated from 2001 to 2009. President Barack Obama
The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical
Archived transcript of the session.