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The responsibilities of conscience in healthcare decisions: moving towards a collaborative framework

Smith, Stephen W. ORCID: 2020. The responsibilities of conscience in healthcare decisions: moving towards a collaborative framework. Cambridge Law Journal 79 (1) , pp. 120-147. 10.1017/S000819732000001X

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Claims of conscience are a substantial area of concern in relation to healthcare decisions but are often only considered in a limited context. Broadening our understanding of claims of conscience, however, might lead to claims that we are moving back towards a doctor-centred understanding of medical care. This article argues that we can allow claims of conscience without unduly penalising patients by focusing on the responsibilities that ought to attach to conscience claims. This article sets out three responsibilities – humility, universality, and reciprocal respect – which ought to be part of any claim of conscience. The Charlie Gard case is then used as an example to explore the use of responsibilities. The article then moves to consider possible issues that arise from this view.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Law & Politics
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
K Law > KD England and Wales
Additional Information: Released with a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
ISSN: 0008-1973
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 February 2020
Date of Acceptance: 11 January 2020
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 03:51

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