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Conflicts of Conscience in Health Care – An Institutional Compromise - MIT Press Scholarship Online
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Conflicts of Conscience in Health Care: An Institutional Compromise

Holly Fernandez Lynch


Physicians in the United States who refuse to perform a variety of legally permissible medical services because of their own moral objections are often protected by “conscience clauses.” These laws, on the books in nearly every state since the legalization of abortion by Roe v. Wade, shield physicians and other health professionals from such potential consequences of refusal as liability and dismissal. While some praise conscience clauses as protecting important freedoms, opponents, concerned with patient access to care, argue that professional refusals should be tolerated only when they are b ... More

Keywords: physicians, medical services, moral objections, conscience clauses, legalization of abortion, Roe v. Wade, health professionals, refusal, liability, dismissal

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780262123051
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262123051.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Holly Fernandez Lynch, author