Prescribing drugs to secure religious conformity: question of conscience?

Haaretz reports that psychiatric drugs are being prescribed to members of the ultra-orthodox Jewish Haredi community to suppress sexual urges and help them to conform to religious prohibitions against masturbation, homosexual conduct and frequent sexual relations.  A posting on the Practical Ethics blog of Oxford University asks whether or not psychiatrists may, for reasons of conscience, refuse to prescribe drugs for this reason.  The writer, quoting Julian Salvulescu’s denunciation of freedom of conscience in health care, reasons “a psychiatrist has no ground for conscientious objection and should provide the treatment to Haredim,” but ultimately concludes that this seems “intuitively incorrect.”

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