When conscience meddles with ethics

William P. Cheshire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The right of conscience is the right of an individual to refuse to do something requested by another on the basis of a deeply-held moral belief. Although debates over rights of conscience in medicine have focused on controversial questions at life's margins, the physician's exercise of conscience also extends to many other areas of care. Conscience is at the heart of the medical profession's commitment to honesty, compassion, and taking responsibility to prevent harm. Conscience in obedience to truth is the bedrock on which rests the moral integrity of the physician, which is essential to the patient's trust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalEthics and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Philosophy
  • Health Policy


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