Religion, conscience and clinical decisions

Lantos, J. D., & Curlin, F. A. (2008). Religion, conscience and clinical decisions. Acta P├Ždiatrica, 97 (3): 265-6.

This article discusses the interaction between a physician's personal moral code and medical law.

"The Oxford English Dictionary defines conscience as, 'The faculty or principle which pronounces upon the moral quality of one's [own] actions or motives, approving the right and condemning the wrong.' The idea that physicians ought to practice 'conscientiously' seems uncontroversial. Ethical practice and professional behaviour depend upon the ability of doctors to morally scrutinize their own behaviour and to resist any temptation to behave unethically. This is true even in situations in which unethical behaviour may not be illegal.

"The demands of conscience may be stricter than those of the law, and one ought not violate one's own sense of moral obligation. In that sense, the doctors in the cases above must be seen as doing the right thing. In another obvious sense, however, the paediatricians' conscientious judgments in cases like these are quite controversial."


Photo by Gaetan Lee.

(My publication)Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2009 by jlantos
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