Christian Medical Fellowship (UK)
Policies & statements relevant to freedom of conscience
Links and annotations
Withholding and Withdrawing Life-Prolonging Treatments: Good Practice in
Submission to the General Medical Council, 1 July, 2001
Differences of View about best interests (para 9)
Q5. In your experience, how effective is independent clinical
and/or ethical review in helping to reach a consensus in such cases?
Independent reviews are more likely to be effective in reaching a
consensus in cases of disagreement if they are easily and quickly attainable
from people with extensive clinical experience, recognised integrity and the
willingness to explain decision pathways. It is important that in the light
of paragraphs 19 (senior clinician decides) and paragraph 40 (non-compliers
answering to courts and GMC) that junior members of the health-care team are
not forced to implement non-treatment decisions against conscience. A
conscientious objection clause needs to be added here to ensure that such
people are not discriminated against.
Human Bodies, Human Choices - The Law on Human Organs and Tissue in
England and Wales
Submission to the Department of Health, 14 October, 2002 (United
15I. A provision for conscientious objection is essential to
ensure that doctors and other health professionals who wish to abide by the
Hippocratic Oath and Declaration of Geneva should not be discriminated
against or stigmatised.
When may a general practitioner refuse to accept a patient?
. . . It is increasingly important to our members that the laws
which define acceptable medical practice do not also force them to
provide to patients whatever is deemed 'acceptable' within the law. . .
Conscientious objection and referral
. . . to require such involvement in abortion would be to breach the
doctor's right under Article 9 of the ECHR. A guideline imposing such a
requirement would accordingly be unlawful and susceptible to judicial
Maintaining trust in the profession / expressing personal beliefs
. . .The way we express beliefs in
everyday life can be perceived in many different ways. A belief
expressed in one way may be perceived by one listener as not
distressing, and another as distressing. . .