Journal Article

MAKING DECISIONS ABOUT DECISION-MAKING: CONSCIENCE, REGULATION, AND THE LAW

José Miola

in Medical Law Review

Volume 23, issue 2, pages 263-282
Published in print June 2015 | ISSN: 0967-0742
Published online April 2015 | e-ISSN: 1464-3790 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/medlaw/fwv010
MAKING DECISIONS ABOUT DECISION-MAKING: CONSCIENCE, REGULATION, AND THE LAW

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The exercise of conscience can have far reaching effects. Poor behaviour can be fatal, as it has occurred in various medical scandals over the years. This article takes a wide definition of conscience as its starting point, and argues that the decision-making processes open to society—legal regulation and professional regulation—can serve to limit the options available to an individual and thus her ability to exercise her conscience. The article charts the law's changing attitude to legal intervention, which now seeks to limit the use of conscience by individuals, and addresses concerns that this may serve to ‘de-moralise’ medicine. It also examines the reasons for this legal change of approach.

Keywords: Autonomy; Conscience; Decision-making; Medical ethics; Medical law; Regulation

Journal Article.  10411 words. 

Subjects: Medical and Healthcare Law ; Medical Ethics

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