Are there different spheres of conscience?
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Interest in understanding the meaning of conscience and conscientious objection in medicine has recently emerged in the academic literature. We would like to contribute to this debate in four ways: (1) to underscore and challenge the existing hierarchy of conscientious objection in health care; (2) to highlight the importance of considering the lay public when discussing the role of conscientious objection in medicine; (3) to critique the numerous proposals put forth in favour of implementing review boards to assess whether appeals to conscience are justifiable, reasonable and sincere; and (4) to introduce the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Siracusa Principles into the dialogue around conscience and suggest that perhaps conscientious objection is a human right.
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