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Protection of Conscience Project

Service, not Servitude
Protection of Conscience
Research Group



The Protection of Conscience Research Group ("the Research Group") researches freedom of conscience.  Members seek to clearly and rationally articulate the nature of freedom of conscience and its importance and relevance to the good of the individual and society, with particular application to the work and responsibilities of physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other health care workers. 


Members are independent or institutionally affiliated graduate-level researchers who wish to cooperate with others in achieving the purpose of the Research Group, and who accept its principles and policies.

"Member" refers only to collaborative scholarship in pursuit of the purposes of the Research Group.  It does not imply a position or office or include stipends or other remuneration.

A graduate-level researcher who wishes to becomes a member of the Research Group applies to the Administrator of the Protection of Conscience Project ("the Administrator") and agrees to the Research Group's principles and policies.  Membership in the Research Group becomes effective when the applicant is so notified by the Administrator.  Membership ceases when a member notifies the Administrator or when a member is so notified by the Administrator.


When the Research Group numbers three or more members, the Administrator may appoint a Convener on the advice of the Protection of Conscience Project Advisory Board.

The Convener is a member of the Research Group who is willing to assume the role.

The Convener facilitates collaboration and communication among members, provides them with advice and encouragement as needed, and encourages suitable postgraduate researchers to apply to join the members.  The Convener does not act as a thesis advisor.

A member ceases to be Convener upon so notifying the Administrator, or when so notified by the Administrator.


1.  Freedom of conscience and religion are fundamental freedoms intended to serve the good of individuals and society.

2.  Freedom of conscience and religion include the freedom to express conscientious or religious convictions by living and working and participating in social and public affairs in accordance with them.

3.  While freedom of conscience and religion may be limited to safeguard the common good, it is far more serious to force someone to do what is believed to be wrong (preservative freedom of conscience) than to prevent someone from doing something believed to be good (perfective freedom of conscience).

4.  Adherents of different philosophical and religious traditions should encourage respect for and accommodation of the exercise of freedom of conscience and religion.

Publication and participation

Members are encouraged to publish their research in reputable scholarly journals and textbooks and to participate in academic symposia.

Relationship to the Protection of Conscience Project

The Protection of Conscience Project

  • establishes the purposes, principles, policies and conditions of membership in the Protection of Conscience Research Research Group,
  • approves membership in the Research Group and maintains a list of members,
  • appoints or removes the Convener of the Research Group,
  • ensures adherence by members to the policies and conditions of Research Group,
  • does not direct or manage the research undertaken by the members,
  • does not speak for or on behalf of the Research Group.

The Project will advertise the publication of papers by members.  With appropriate permission and if consistent with copyright law, the Project may post on the Project website papers from members that have been published in peer reviewed journals.

The Project will facilitate communication and cooperation among members and notify them of issues, articles or developments of interest.  Periodically, the Administrator may request research assistance from members, who are not obliged to respond, but may do so if the request is consistent with their research interests and is not burdensome.

The Administrator will maintain the on-line framework necessary for the functioning of the Research Group.

Religious belief

As independent researchers, members of the Research Group are not bound by the non-denominational approach taken by the Protection of Conscience Project.

Group privacy policy

Members agree that their applications for membership may be shared with the Protection of Conscience Project Advisory Board and Team, and that their contact information may be shared with other Research Group members unless they indicate otherwise.

Members agree that they will not otherwise share or disseminate contact information of another member without express consent.

Similarly, communications among members are not to be shared or disseminated without the express consent of the parties to the communication.

The restrictions on dissemination of contact information and communications continue after one ceases to be a member of the Research Group.

Representing the Research Group

A member of the Research Group must not represent himself as a public representative of the Research Group, speaking on behalf of its members.  However, this is not intended to prevent individual members or the Convener from doing what is necessary to coordinate or facilitate Research Group activities.

Next: On-Line Framework


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