International Legal Commentary
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Growing Intolerance Threatens Rights of Conscience of Health
- Lynn Wardle*
| Around the world, policies and actions of many governments
and governmental agencies are threatening rights of conscience
of health care providers and employees. These challenges
and dangers seem to be increasing.
Recent times have seen numerous high-profile incidents in
which nurses, doctors, hospital staff, government employees, and
other health care workers are being pressured, required and
forced to provide morally-controversial elective procedures
(such as non-therapeutic abortions) despite their expressed
moral objections to participating in such services.
- Michael A. Fragoso*
| . . . conscience itself is not a moral or religious
belief; it is a rational faculty that allows us to apply our religious or
moral beliefs. If professional organizations and governments wish to force
physicians to violate their own consciences, they are not forcing them to
violate their religious tenets or moral beliefs, but rather their very moral
compasses implicit in their rationality. . .
Conscientious Objection as
a 'Crime Against Humanity'
- Sean Murphy*
| . . .Readers of Canadian Health Law and
Policy are to be persuaded that a health care worker who declines, for
reasons of conscience, to direct a patient to the morning after pill or
abortion commits the offence of "forced pregnancy." . . . if . . . not actually a crime against humanity
analogous to torture, . . . at least a gross violation of human rights that
ought to be prosecuted by human rights commissions. . .
Western Defense of Conscience:
Interview With Law Professor Rafael Navarro-Valls
- Zenit | The right to conscientious
objection -- in areas ranging from health care to education
-- is one of the most important legal battles being fought
in the West, according to a law professor and author on the
subject. . .
Summary and link
to full text
The "Medical Conscience" Civil Rights Movement
- Wesley J. Smith* Until recently, healthcare
was not culturally controversial. Medicine was seen as
primarily concerned with extending lives, curing diseases,
healing injuries, palliating symptoms, birthing babies, and
promoting wellness - and hence, as a sphere in which people of
all political and social beliefs were generally able to get
along. That consensus has been shattered. Doctors today may be
asked to provide legal but morally contentious medical
interventions such as sex selection abortion, assisted
suicide, preimplantation genetic diagnosis of IVF embryos,
even medications that inhibit the onset of puberty for
minors diagnosed with gender dysphoria. As a consequence,
medical practice has become embroiled in political and
cultural conflict. . .