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Abstract

Opponents of conscientious objection in healthcare, such as Savulescu, argue that healthcare professionals cannot have a right to conscientiously object to provide professional services, because such a right would be incompatible with their professional obligations. Defenders of conscientious objection in healthcare typically respond to this line of argument by describing the professional obligations of healthcare professionals in a ‘top-down’ manner – making generalizations about the healthcare professions and the ways in which these are organized, and deriving claims about individual professional obligations from these generalizations which are compatible with a right to conscientiously object. I argue that such approaches don’t succeed in grounding individual professional obligations. What we need to do instead is to approach this issue ‘bottom up’. The best way to determine what exactly the professional obligations of healthcare professionals are, and to determine whether or not these are compatible with a right to conscientiously object is to focus our attention on the issue of how individual professional obligations are acquired in the healthcare professions. When we do this we arrive at some surprising results, which I outline.

Forthcoming events

The impact of host and virus genetic variation on HCV infection outcome

Monday, 20 May 2024, 1pm to 2pm @ BDI/OxPop Building LG seminar rooms

The Neonatology Canon Project: Examining the Research Endeavor Through Comprehensive Aggregation of Randomized Aggregation of Randomized Trials

Tuesday, 21 May 2024, 1pm to 2pm @ Richard Doll Lecture Theatre, Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus, Headington, OX3 7LF

Opium as a carcinogen: new insights from the Golestan Cohort Study

Tuesday, 28 May 2024, 1pm to 2pm @ Richard Doll Lecture Theatre, Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus, Headington, OX3 7LF

Exploiting electronic health records to improve infection management

Monday, 03 June 2024, 1pm to 2pm @ BDI/OxPop Building LG seminar rooms

Title TBC

Tuesday, 04 June 2024, 1pm to 2pm @ Richard Doll Lecture Theatre, Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus, Headington, OX3 7LF