Protection of Conscience Project
Protection of Conscience Project
Service, not Servitude

Service, not Servitude

Ethical Method in Christian Bioethics: Mapping the Terrain

  • David P. Gushee  | . . . The question of bioethical methodology is especially acute for those working within the conservative Protestant branch of the Christian community. The typical evangelical way of approaching a moral question is to turn to the Bible for direct citations relevant to the issue at hand. . .
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Finding the Human in Christian Bioethics

  • Amy Laura Hall, Ph.D.  | . . .Does an orphan in the woods have a voice if there is no one to hear her cry? What if another forest-dweller perceives her as his next meal? Is this propositional orphan a "she" in any meaningful sense, calling in any relevant way for care or attention from those who would neglect, manipulate, or devour her? . . .
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God's Gift for Those Facing a Conflict in Conscience

  • Gregory L. Waybright, Ph.D.  | God has given us much to assist us in times of conflict. We have His Word, the ability to pray, and, as Jesus-followers, the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. At the same time, one of the most important gift's God has provided to lead toward wisdom in the midst of times of conscience-conflict is not utilized fully. . . The church is God's gift to His people for times when conscience is in conflict. . .
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The Christian Conscience in Modern Medicine

  • Jacky Engel  | Conscientious objection arises within medicine when a doctor's conscience runs counter to a legal and socially accepted medical practice. This usually relates to 'controversial' practices, such as abortion, euthanasia, the morning after pill and certain contraceptives. It is expressed predominantly (though not exclusively) by those with religious convictions. For the Christian medic, it will become increasingly relevant as medicine departs further from traditional ethical boundaries. . .
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Position Paper of the Abrahamic Monoetheistic Religions on Matters Concerning the End of Life

  •  The aims of this position paper are:  To present the position of the Abrahamic monotheistic religions regarding the values and the practices relevant to the dying patient, for the benefit of patients, families, health-care providers and policy makers who are adherents of one of these religions. . .
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Christians and civil disobedience
Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (Background Paper)

  • John H. Redekop  |  A basic requirement for the functioning of civil society, especially in a democracy, is that citizens, generally speaking, should obey the laws of the land.  Christians and most, if not all, other religious groups accept that principle as an over-arching reality.  The logic is compelling. If citizens, in substantial numbers, would take the law into their own hands and individually decide which laws to obey and which to disobey, then anarchy might result rather quickly.  The theory is clear and essentially true but the practical situation is sometimes more complicated. . .
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Conflicts of conscience: faith versus the state

  • Rich Preheim |. . . Any threat to conscience is a cause for concern. . . Anabaptists know that the state, no matter how benevolent, is always ready to force believers to choose between it and God. . .
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Christian conscience in a secular culture
Reflections of an ecumenical Pentecostal

  • Daniel Tomberlin  | . . . The Gospel of Christ should inform believers on the political left and right, and convict sinners on the left and right. The Incarnation (God with us) means that Christ is above, in, and with all human endeavors. So yes, Christian theology and ethics should seek to inform and shape public life. That means that individual Christians, and Christian institutions, have an obligation to exercise a Christ-shaped conscience. . .
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The Danger of the State as a Substitute for Conscience

  • Dr. Richard Land  | You have heard it said: "You can't legislate morality." . . . But what happens if religiously informed moral values are excluded from public policy debates?
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Is the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Unethical?

  • Russell Moore  | . . . Some have wondered. . . whether taking a COVID-19 vaccine would cause them to be involved, somehow, in abortion or embryonic stem-cell research or in any way the taking of a human life. The intuitions behind this question are good and sound. The question assumes a foundational biblical truth that is often pushed aside in these times: namely, that a Christian may not do evil that good may come out of it (Rom. 12:21).In a day when “lesser of two evils” ethics and “whataboutism” have upended Christian witness, with Christians affirming much that they previously denied in order to justify remaining loyal to their temporal tribes, we should be thankful, at least, when the right questions are asked. . . Full Text


(USA and Canada)

"The Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) are made up of the Christian Medical Association (CMA) and the Christian Dental Association (CDA). CMDA provides resources, networking opportunities, education, and a public voice for Christian healthcare professionals and students."

The following position papers/guidelines are of particular interest in discussions about freedom of conscience and have been made available on the Project website with the kind permission of the CMDA. Visit the CMDA website for information and links about other issues of interest

Health Care Right of Conscience

  • Respect for conscientiously held beliefs of individuals and for individual differences is an essential part of our free society. The right of choice is foundational in our healthcare process, and it applies to both healthcare professionals and patients alike. Issues of conscience arise when some aspect of medical care is in conflict with the personal beliefs and values of the patient or the healthcare professional. CMDA believes that in such circumstances the Rights of Conscience have priority. . . .
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Moral Complicity with Evil

  • Moral complicity with evil is culpable association with or participation in wrongful acts. Evil is defined as anything immoral or wrong based on Biblical principles. Questions about moral complicity with evil can arise in regard to an individual's relationship to or involvement with past, present or future evil. . .
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Double Effect

  • . . .Some secondary effects have moral implications. An assessment of the moral acceptability of adverse secondary effects requires consideration of principles, motives, con-sequences, and implications.* The Rule of Double Effect, introduced into the discipline of moral reasoning by St. Thomas Aquinas, is particularly useful in evaluating the moral acceptability of adverse secondary effects. . .
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Healthcare Education and Christian Faith

  • . . . If a trainee in the healthcare professions expresses an unwillingness to participate in an aspect of training or patient care as a matter of conscience, that stance should be explored in a non-judgmental manner to ensure that both parties fully understand the issue. The trainee's position on matters of conscience should be honored without academic or personal penalty. . .
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Christian Medical Association's Presentation to President's Council on Bioethics

  • Jonathan Imbody |  . . . The way things are going, some would actually force out of the profession those physicians who have moral objections to procedures like abortion, and that loss of physicians, especially obstetricians and gynecologists who, as you know, are already leaving a practice because of malpractice insurance costs, would have a severe impact on the delivery of healthcare. . .
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(United Kingdom)

Good Medical Practice - A Draft for Consultation: Response to the General Medical Council

The General Medical Council (GMC) is the state regulator of medical practice in the United Kingdom.  The GMC issed a draft policy for public comment from 18 April to 13 June, 2012, titled Personal beliefs and medical practice. The Christian Medical Fellowship responded to the proposal with a detailed submission which included the following comments:

  • When may a general practitioner refuse to accept a patient?
  • Conscientious objection and referral
  • Maintaining trust in the profession / expressing personal beliefs
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Imposing our morality

  • Christian Medical Fellowship [United Kingdom] | Well, for a start, we can't refuse to diagnose and treat them just because they are sinners. We wouldn't see anybody. Where could we draw the line? Nitpickerus: It's not that which worries me. It's when they want us to help them do something which we regard as unethical . . .
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Contraception for the Unmarried

  • Christian Medical Fellowship [United Kingdom] | . . . I came to the conclusion that I could only provide contraception to married couples, and that my contraceptive advice to unmarried couples would be limited to that of advising them not to have intercourse. I would advise them that if they rejected my advice they should go elsewhere and obtain their contraception from another doctor. I was not forcing my opinion on them, because they were perfectly free to reject my advice and obtain their contraception elsewhere. . .
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