Right of freedom of conscience is not absolute

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McCarthy, Joan
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Green Cross Publishing Ltd.
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In the course of my work as a lecturer in healthcare ethics in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork, I have met with a number of Irish health professionals – nurses, midwives and doctors – who are uncertain and confused about their obligations in relation to the provision of abortions services in post-2018 Ireland. Their questions have prompted me to explain and defend the standard account of conscientious objection that is articulated in the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018. To do so, I will define and discuss some of the key terms that are at the centre of debates about conscientious objection: “conscience”, “freedom of conscience”, “right of freedom of conscience”, and “conscientious objection” itself.
Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 , Abortion services , Conscientious objection , Healthcare
McCarthy, J. (2019) ‘Right of freedom of conscience is not absolute’, Nursing in General Practice, 12(1), pp. 27-28. Available online: https://www.medicalindependent.ie/104463/nursing_in_general_practice___issue_1_janfeb_2019
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