Conscience and competing liberty claims

Sister Renée Mirkes, Edward A. Morse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Some treatment requests from gay patients seriously conflict with the religious or moral beliefs of their respective medical providers. Not all legal solutions to these disputes serve the common good. Therefore, this article proposes that state healthcare conscience protection statutes provide the most effective way to resolve these liberty conflicts and to serve the medical needs of all patients. Part one of this manuscript showcases four clinical scenarios that illustrate how a clash of liberty claims between homosexual patients and their respective clinicians could play out within today's healthcare setting. Part two describes the centrifugal legal forces that are shaping judicial opinion to favor sexual liberty interests over religious conscience concerns. Part three argues for a tri-phasic political solution. We encourage healthcare providers: (1) to present their state legislators with a conscience primer-reasons why, as legislative guardians of the common good, they need to care about conscience protection for healthcare professionals; (2) to prevail upon their legislators to sponsor and enact robust state healthcare conscience protections; and (3) to dialogue with the gay community and their advocates, making the case that, first, diversity of the marketplace is the most effective way to match the diverse needs of all patients and, second, a dialogical, rather than a coercive, method of accessing care is the best way to serve the good of all.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-39
Number of pages17
JournalEthics and Medicine
Volume29
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013

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Delivery of Health Care
Social Justice
Dissent and Disputes
Health Personnel
Healthcare
Liberty
Sexual Minorities
Conflict (Psychology)
Religion
Legislators
Therapeutics
Guardian
Showcase
Sponsor
Clinicians
Centrifugal
Manuscripts
Scenarios
Dispute
Statute

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy
  • Philosophy
  • Religious studies

Cite this

Conscience and competing liberty claims. / Mirkes, Sister Renée; Morse, Edward A.

In: Ethics and Medicine, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2013, p. 23-39.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mirkes, SR & Morse, EA 2013, 'Conscience and competing liberty claims', Ethics and Medicine, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 23-39.
Mirkes, Sister Renée ; Morse, Edward A. / Conscience and competing liberty claims. In: Ethics and Medicine. 2013 ; Vol. 29, No. 1. pp. 23-39.
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