Academic Master

Health Care, Laws and International Laws

Conscience Clause Essay

The conscience clause is a provision in the law allowing medical practitioners to refuse to take up a role they feel is against morality or one that is against their religion. It is also a provision within the law that allows medical practitioners to refuse to dispense products that they feel are morally wrong to use and is against their religious teachings. For this reason, the clause is famously referred to as the refusal clause. It allows people to reject directions and changes in their working environment that are against their conscience (Erickson et al, 2015). The law comes in to protect such beliefs due to the possibility of harassment by employers.
The state under consideration is Illinois. Illinois State has the conscience clause. Illinois has the clause alongside other states such as Maryland, Florida, Maine, Tennessee, and others. It is meant to protect the moral perspective of an individual as well as the religious beliefs of a person in the medical field. For this reason, it applies in Judy’s case. However, the extent of the application of the clause, in this case, depends on the grounds that Judy presents in rejecting the topic. If Judy quotes that the topic is against her personal moral perspective, then the clause applies in an attempt to protect her. Also, the clause protects her in case she rejects the topic on the basis of violating her religious teachings and what her faith dictates (Wise et al, 2015). Therefore, she has the obligation of providing the reasons for the rejection of the topic. Otherwise, the rejection might not be valid and may not have the protection of the law.
The state is justified to have the clause in place. This is because it considers the freedom of worship and respects people’s opinions on morality (Deans 2016). The issue of abortion is one that attracts lots of debate. Therefore, I agree with the position of the State that the personal conscience of a person shall be respected before making decisions that touch on them.


Deans, Z. (2016). Might a conscience clause be used for non-moral or prejudiced reasons?. Journal of medical ethics42(2), 76-77.
Erickson Cornish, J. A., Riva, M. T., & Smith, R. D. (2015). Responding to the conscience clause: A complex and crucial issue in the education and training of health service psychologists.
Wise, E. H., Bieschke, K. J., Forrest, L., Cohen-Filipic, J., Hathaway, W. L., & Douce, L. A. (2015). Psychology’s proactive approach to conscience clause court cases and legislation. Training and Education in Professional Psychology9(4), 259.



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