Conscience and Ethics


In this division of Conscience Works we include methods, tools and reflections upon how to promote the development of professional conscience. A bibliography of resources about conscience-based refusals in the health professions is also included.

Does the conscience of a medical student or physician “look” a certain way, or exhibit particular or recognizable contouring, different from the conscience of another professional, for example a teacher or lawyer? Does the conscience change over the course of the rigors of professional training, for better or worse? No one doubts that medical school is challenging. Does medical training sometimes resemble or become an adverse life event, and if so, is it more like an earthquake or like abuse? What is conscientious objection in the healing professions? How do health professionals approach conflicts between their values and their professional duties? What are the challenges to the professional conscience in today’s world?

Conscience theory and language enrich the dialogue of ethical debate, instruction, and consultation, allowing more meaningful perspective-taking, and leading to deeper understanding and connectedness between/among the morally relevant parties.

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