The Role of Conscience and Conscientious Objection in Healthcare

September 11, 2017 - September 12, 2017
School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Charles Sturt University

Seminar Room
Dunmore Lang College, 130 Herring Rd, Macquarie University, Macquarie Park


  • Charles Sturt University, School of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Macquarie University Research Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics

All speakers:

Piers Benn
Heythrop College, University of London
Stephen Clarke
Charles Sturt University
Tony Coady
University of Melbourne
Daniel Cohen
Charles Sturt University
University of New South Wales
Jeanette Kennett
Macquarie University
Doug McConnell
Charles Sturt University
Carolyn McLeod
Western University
Julian Savulescu
Oxford University
Bernadette Tobin
Australian Catholic University

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The conference aims to analyse the role of ‘conscience’ in the healthcare profession and the restrictions, if any, that should be placed on conscientious objection. Conscientious objection by health professionals has become one of the most pressing problems in healthcare ethics. Health professionals are often required to perform activities, such as abortion, that conflict with their own moral or religious beliefs. Their refusal can make it difficult for patients to have access to services they have a right to and can, more generally, create conflicts in the doctor-patient relationship. The widening of the medical options available today or in the near future is likely to increase and sharpen these conflicts. The conference will see the participation of experts in bioethics, philosophy, law and medicine, who will explore the topic of conscientious objection from secular, religious and feminist perspectives, and try to suggest solutions.

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September 10, 2017, 1:00pm +10:00

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