Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra
versión impresa ISSN 1137-6627
MARTINEZ, K.. Medicine and conscientious objection. Anales Sis San Navarra [online]. 2007, vol.30, n.2, pp.215-223. ISSN 1137-6627.
Conscientious objection to democratically accepted laws in democratic societies is a fact, both among citizens and among professionals. Due respect for laws is a prima facie duty in these societies. But democratic justice must at the same time respect peoples conscience for it constitutes the ethical identity of individuals. And both law and ethics are necessary - although neither of them is sufficient - for its realization. The problem of conscientious objection among healthcare professionals is analysed from this standpoint and the conclusion is that objection is not an absolute right to exemption from several duties, but that the responsibility of the professional and of the institutions towards the citizenry must always be taken into account. Some solutions are suggested that try to protect both the professionals and the citizens in a bi-directional way.
Palabras clave : Conscientious objection; Professionalism; Democracy; Ethics; Law.