The Market View on conscientious objection: Overvalued

Robert F Card

Journal of Medical Ethics
Journal of Medical Ethics

Ancell and Sinnott-Armstrong argue that medical providers possess wide freedoms to determine the scope of their practice, and therefore, prohibiting almost any conscientious objections is a bad idea. They maintain that we could create an acceptable system on the whole which even grants accommodations to discriminatory refusals by healthcare professionals. Their argument is premised upon applying a free market mechanism to conscientious objections in medicine, yet I argue their Market View possesses a number of absurd and troubling implications. Furthermore, I demonstrate that the fundamental logic of their main argument is flawed. Thinkers who wish to address the issues raised in this debate in general or by discriminatory conscience objections in particular should avoid the Market View and instead envisage theories that assess the reasons underlying conscientious refusals in medicine.

Card RF. The Market View on conscientious objection: Overvalued. J Med Ethics 2019 Mar;45(3):168-172. doi: 10.1136/medethics-2018-105173