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Protecting the Careers of Medical Professionals Who Believe in the Hippocratic Oath

Originally published in The Center for Bioethics and Culture, May 2009 by Wesley J. Smith We live in a culturally diverse society in which people vary greatly in their moral beliefs about the importance of human life. These profound differences are most bitterly expressed in the medical context, particularly with regard to issues such as abortion, physician-assisted suicide, embryonic stem cell research, and other life and death policies and procedures. …Read More

Growing Intolerance Threatens Rights of Conscience of Health Care Workers

Originally published in CNS News, March 2016 by Lynn Wardle Around the world, policies and actions of many governments and governmental agencies are threatening rights of conscience of health care providers and employees.  These challenges and dangers seem to be increasing. Recent times have seen numerous high-profile incidents in which nurses, doctors, hospital staff, government employees, and other health care workers are being pressured, required and forced to provide morally-controversial …Read More

Understanding freedom of conscience

Originally published in Policy Options, May 2018 by Brian Bird The year 2017 marks the 150th anniversary since Confederation and the 35th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. By virtue of a court case in Ontario that might go all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada, 2017 may also be the year when freedom of conscience — until now a dormant Charter freedom — …Read More

Why the right to conscientious objection must be restored

Originally published in Conscience Laws, June 2014 Presentation to the Life Dinner Melbourne, Australia by David van Gend I feel a little out of place coming from Queensland to speak about the wretched situation in Victoria: coming from a State where it is always sunny, where the people are always nice, and where we don’t have oppressive laws that try to compel the conscience of free citizens. But we are all …Read More

Freedom of Conscience and New “LGBT Rights”

Travis Weber and L. Lin “LGBT rights” are being elevated above conscience rights when the two come into conflict—but this trend is to the detriment of human rights, which can stand the test of time only when they are grounded in transcendent, fixed authority. In the realm of international human rights law, major conflicts are developing today between freedom of conscience and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) policies. In …Read More

Dear Canada, Respect for Conscience is Fundamental to Health Care

Rachael Wong is a lawyer from Auckland who is currently working as a legal consultant with the Law Reform Commission in Samoa. She has recently completed a Master of Bioethics and Health Law for which she wrote her dissertation on freedom of conscience in health care. She maintains that a health professional’s exercise of conscience is inseparable from their delivery of health care. Writing for First Things, Wesley J. Smith …Read More

The Right to Freedom of Conscience

By Neil Vaney Introduction A recent post from Terry Bellamak, new president of the Abortion Law Rights Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ), questions why health professionals such as doctors and nurses should be legally able to use the claim of freedom of conscience in refusing to provide contraceptive or abortion advice or services. (http://wp.me/x1XY6w-z1, 14 Sep 2015). Bellamak likens this to the case of Kim Davis, county clerk of Rowan …Read More

Dutch Euthanasia Rate Continues to Rise

According to the 2014 Annual Report by the Netherlands’ regional euthanasia review committees, there were 5,306 reported cases of assisted dying in 2014, a 10% rise on the previous year, and double those reported in 2009 (2636). A spokesman for the review committees said that the increase may be due to a growing social acceptance of euthanasia. On this shift in public opinion, Professor Theo Boer – a member of …Read More

The Right to Freedom of Conscience under Attack

Some academics have recently suggested that conscientious objection is an unwarranted barrier to the provision of reproductive health care. In April 2013, the American Journal of Public Health published an article “Abortion Law Around the World: Progress and Pushback.” The authors perceive that there has been a rise in “unregulated conscientious objection”. They consider that this is a barrier for women trying to access lawful abortions. NZHPA believes that one inference that can be drawn from the article is that health professionals should be expected to “leave their conscience …Read More