Religion, conscience and clinical decisions
Lantos, J. D., & Curlin, F. A. (2008). Religion, conscience and clinical decisions. Acta Pædiatrica, 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