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Protection of Conscience Project

Service, not Servitude
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Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia

Article 46

The right of conscientious objection shall be permitted in such circumstances as are determined by statute, to the extent that the rights and freedoms of others are not affected.

Health Services Act

Article 45

Healthcare workers and auxiliary health staff shall perform health services in accordance with approved healthcare doctrine and with a code of medical deontology practice, and/or with other professional and ethical codes of practice. In performing their work they must treat all people under the same conditions in the same manner and respect their constitutional and legal rights. The sole criterion of priority shall be the urgency of medical intervention.

Article 56

Healthcare workers may reject a medical intervention if they believe that it is not in accordance with their conscience and with international rules of medical ethics. Healthcare workers must notify the healthcare institute of their conscientious objections. Healthcare institutes must take these into consideration, but must ensure that patients' healthcare rights are exercised without disruption. Healthcare workers may not refuse to provide emergency medical assistance.

Slovenian Code of Medical Deontology Practice

Article 5

In pursuing their profession physicians shall, within the limits of their professional capabilities, be fully independent and shall answerable to their own consciences, to their patients and to society for their work.

Article 6

Physicians may not refuse to provide emergency medical assistance appropriate to their professional capabilities, irrespective of whether it is their work duty and whether they have been expressly asked for assistance. . .

2. Physicians and Patients

Article 14

Physicians shall be obliged to pursue their profession responsibly, professionally, conscientiously and precisely for every patient, irrespective of race, sex, ethnicity, religious persuasion, political convictions, and socio-economic position and irrespective of their personal relationship with the patient or the family thereof.

Physicians shall be free to choose methods and means of treatment, whereby they shall be obliged to consistently take into consideration the achievements of medical science and the principles of professional behaviour.

Physicians shall be obliged to reject any intervention that according to their professional convictions and conscience could be unethical or harmful to the patient.

Article 19

Physicians shall apply and respect the principle of freedom of choice of physician and healthcare institute. They shall therefore endeavour to implement this right of patients.

Article 42

Physicians may refuse to carry out an abortion or sterilisation if it is not in accordance with their beliefs and conscience and it is not a case of emergency medical assistance. They shall be obliged to refer the patient to another capable physician, or must inform the healthcare institute of their refusal in order to ensure the execution of such interventions in accordance with the law.