A Thomistic Argument for Respecting Conscientious Refusals

Michał Głowala

About author

Dr. Michał Głowala
Institute of Philosophy
The University of Wrocław
ul. Koszarowa 3
51-149 Wrocław
Poland

E-mail: michał.glowala@uwr.edu.pl

Abstract


The paper presents an argument for respecting conscientious refusals based on the Thomistic account of conscience; the argument does not employ the notion of right. The main idea is that acting against one’s conscience necessarily makes the action objectively wrong and performed in bad faith, and expecting someone to act against his or her conscience is incompatible with requiring him or her to act in good faith. In light of this idea I also examine the issue of obligations imposed on objectors as well as the claims that conscientious objectors should change their profession.

Full Text:

PDF


References


  1. G.E.M. Anscombe, Authority in Morals, [in:] Problems of Authority, J.M. Todd (ed.), Darton, Longman & Todd, London 1962.
  2. G.E.M. Anscombe, “The Two Kinds of Error in Action,” The Journal of Philosophy (60) 1963, p. 393-401.
  3. St. Thomas Aquinas, Opera omnia, R. Busa SI (ed.), Fromann-Holzboog, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1980.
  4. Tadeusz Biesaga SDB, “Autonomia lekarza i pacjenta a cel medycyny,” Medycyna Praktyczna (6) 2005, p. 20-24.
  5. The Bioethics Committee of the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Komitet Bioetyki przy Prezydium Polskiej Akademii Nauk), Stanowisko KB nr 4/2013.
  6. Dan W. Brock, “Conscientious refusal by physicians and pharmacists: who is obliged to do what, and why?” Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics (29) 2008, p. 187–200.
  7. Julie D. Cantor, “Conscientious Objection Gone Awry – Restoring Selfless Professionalism in Medicine,” The New England Journal of Medicine (360) 2009, 1484–1485.
  8. Thomas A. Cavanaugh, “Professional Conscientious Objection in Medicine with Attention to Referral,” Ave Maria Law Review (9) 2010, p. 189–206.
  9. Farr A. Curlin, “Caution: Conscience is the Limb on Which Medical Ethics Sits,” The American Journal of Bioethics (7) 2007, p. 30–32.
  10. Michael V. Dougherty, Moral Dilemmas in Medieval Thought. From Gratian to Aquinas, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2011.
  11. John Finnis, Moral Absolutes. Tradition, Revision, and Truth, The Catholic University of America Press, Washington, D.C. 1991.
  12. John Finnis, Faith, Morals, and Thomas More, [in:] J. Finnis, Religion and Public Reasons (Collected Essays, vol. 5), Oxford University Press, Oxford 2011.
  13. Włodzimierz Galewicz, “Jak rozumieć medyczną klauzulę sumienia?” Diametros (34) 2012, p. 136–153.
  14. John J. Hardt, “The conscience debate: resources for rapprochement from the problem’s perceived source,” Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics (29) 2008, p. 151–160.
  15. Teresa Iglesias, The Dignity of the Individual: Issues in Bioethics and Law, Pleroma Press, Dublin 2001.
  16. Anthony Kenny, Thomas More, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1983.
  17. Thomas May, Mark P. Aulisio, “Personal Morality and Professional Obligations,” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine (52) 2009, p. 30–38.
  18. Herbert McCabe OP, “Aquinas on Good Sense,” New Blackfriars (798) 1986, p. 419–431.
  19. Sean Murphy, Conscientious Objection: Resisting Ethical Aggression in Medicine. The Protection of Conscience Project, URL = http://www.conscience laws.org/ethics/ethics081.aspx (2.10.2015).
  20. Sean Murphy, Stephen J. Genuis, “Freedom of Conscience in Health Care: Distinctions and Limits,” Bioethical Inquiry (10) 2013, p. 347–354.
  21. Dana K. Nelkin, Samuel C. Rickless, “The Relevance of Intention to Criminal Wrongdoing,” Criminal Law and Philosophy 2014, p. 1–18.
  22. Jakub Pawlikowski, Klauzula sumienia – ochrona czy ograniczenie wolności sumienia lekarza? Głos w obronie wolności sumienia lekarzy, Polskie Towarzystwo Bioetyczne, dyskusja: Jakich świadczeń medycznych wolno odmówić ze względów moralnych, URL = http://www.ptb.org.pl/pdf/pawlikowski_klauzula_1.pdf (1.10.2015).
  23. Edmund D. Pellegrino, “Guarding the Integrity of Medical Ethics. Some Lessons from Soviet Russia,” The Journal of The American Medical Association (273) 1995, p. 1622–1623.
  24. Edmund D. Pellegrino, “The Nazi Doctors and Nuremberg: Some Moral Lessons Revisited,” Annals of Internal Medicine (127) 1997, p. 307–308.
  25. Edmund D. Pellegrino, “The Physician’s Conscience, Conscience Clauses, and Religious Belief: A Catholic Perspective,” Fordham Urban Law Journal (30) 2002, p. 221–244.
  26. Michele Saporiti, “For a General Legal Theory of Conscientious Objection,” Ratio Juris (28) 2015, p. 416–430.
  27. Julian Savulescu, “Conscientious Objection in Medicine,” The British Medical Journal (332) 2006, p. 294–297.
  28. Daniel P. Sulmasy, “What is conscience and why is respect for it so important?” Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics (29) 2008, p. 135–149.
  29. Christopher Tollefsen, “Conscience, Religion and the State,” American Journal of Jurisprudence (54) 2009, p. 93–115.
  30. Mark R. Wicclair, Conscientious Objection, in: Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics, Springer, Dordrecht 2014.

DOI:

http://dx.doi.org/10.13153/diam.47.2016.866

Article links:

Default URL: http://www.diametros.iphils.uj.edu.pl/index.php/diametros/article/view/866
English abstract URL: http://www.diametros.iphils.uj.edu.pl/index.php/diametros/article/view/866/en

Share:






All works are licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) License.