Location: Dunmore Lang College, 130 Herring Rd, Macquarie University, Macquarie Park, NSW 2113
Date: 11-12th September, 2017
Charles Sturt University School of Humanities and Social Sciences in association with the Macquarie University Research Centre for Agency, Values, and Ethics (CAVE) will host a conference on the role of conscience and conscientious objection in healthcare.
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.
Participation is free and registration will open later in the year. Contact Doug McConnell for more information at email@example.com
Organizers: Doug McConnell (Charles Sturt University), Jeanette Kennett (Macquarie University), and Steve Clarke (Charles Sturt University).
The conference is supported by Charles Sturt University, the Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, 'Conscience and conscientious objection in healthcare' (DP150102068), and CAVE.
Conscientious objection is a central topic in bioethics and is becoming more ever important. This is hardly surprising if we consider the liberal trend in developments of policies about abortion and other bioethical issues worldwide. In recent decades the right to abortion has been granted by many countries, and increasingly many conservative and/or religious doctors are being asked to perform an activity that clashes with their deepest moral and/or religious values.
Debates about conscientious objection are set to become more intense given the increase in medical options which are becoming available or may well be available soon (e.g. embryonic stem cell therapies, genetic selection, human bio-enhancement, sex modification), and given the increasingly multicultural and multi-faith character of Australian society. Not only will doctors conscientiously object to abortion, and to practices commonly acknowledged as morally controversial, but some of them may also object to a wide range of new and even established practices that conflict with their personal values for example, Muslim doctors refusing to examine patients of the opposite sex.
Defining conscientious objection and identifying reliable markers for it, as well as setting the boundaries of legitimate conscientious objection through clear and justifiable principles, are difficult but pressing tasks.
This project advances bioethical debate by producing a philosophically and psychologically informed analysis of conscience, and by applying this to discussions about the legitimate limits to conscientious objection in health care.
Chief Investigator Dr Steve Clarke, Charles Sturt University
Chief Investigator Prof. Jeanette Kennett, Macquarie University
Partner Investigator Prof. Julian Savulescu, University of Oxford
Forthcoming conference, 11th and 12th September 2017 at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia
30 August 2016. Public Lecture: Conscientious Objection and Value Pluralism in Medicine. QUT, Brisbane.
More information: https://www.qut.edu.au/law/about/news-events/news?news-id=107337
29 August 2016. Should Doctors Have the Right to Conscientiously Object? Health Report. ABC Radio National and podcast on ABC Online.
Bioethicist calls for a ban on doctors' conscientious objection appeared in over 100 print media sources throughout Australia.
Doctors working in the public system should be banned from refusing to perform certain procedures, such as abortions, because of their religious
...Savulescu will make the argument at a public lecture at the Queensland University of Technology's Australian Centre for Health Law Research next...
29 August 2016. Consensus Statement on Conscientious Objection . Practical Ethics in the News.