Catholic Social Science Review

Volume 22, 2017

Kevin E. Stuart
Pages 27-37

A Dark Coast
An Application of Conscience in Contemporary Ethics

Conscience is a crucial concept in medical ethics, and exemptions on grounds of conscientious objection are a matter of some controversy. This article examines recent guidelines for conscientious objection proposed by a group of leading medical ethicists, and highlights their failure to understand what conscience is and how it works. Further, this paper proposes an alternative understanding of conscience, and then deploys it as a standpoint from which to criticize the proposed guidelines.