Referral in the Wake of Conscientious Objection to Abortion
Version of Record online: 1 APR 2009
2008 by Hypatia, Inc.
Volume 23, Issue 4, pages 30–47, November 2008
How to Cite
McLEOD, C. (2008), Referral in the Wake of Conscientious Objection to Abortion. Hypatia, 23: 30–47. doi: 10.1111/j.1527-2001.2008.tb01432.x
- Issue online: 1 APR 2009
- Version of Record online: 1 APR 2009
Currently, the preferred accommodation for conscientious objection to abortion in medicine is to allow the objector to refuse to accede to the patient's request so long as the objector refers the patient to a physician who performs abortions. The referral part of this arrangement is controversial, however. Pro-life advocates claim that referrals make objectors complicit in the performance of acts that they, the objectors, find morally offensive. McLeod argues that the referral requirement is justifiable, although not in the way that people usually assume.