chapter  26
14 Pages

Conscientious Refusal and Access to Abortion and Contraception

WithCAROLYN MCLEOD, CHLOË FITZGERALD

Conscientious refusal in health care refers to refusals by health care professionals to provide (or not to provide) certain health care services. The most widely cited examples involve physicians and nurses who refuse to perform or assist with the performance of an abortion and pharmacists who refuse to dispense contraceptives. The topic of conscientious refusal in bioethics is closely tied to debates about access to abortion and contraception and about how we conceive of the role of health care professionals and their obligations to their patients.