Hoping to bring some objectivity to the debate, Ben-Moshe has argued that conscientious objection in medicine should be accommodated based on its concordance with the ‘impartial spectator’, a metaphor for conscience drawn from the writings of Adam Smith. This response finds fault with this account on two fronts: first, that its claim to objectivity is unsubstantiated; second, that it implicitly relies on moral absolutes, despite claiming that conscience is a social construct, thereby calling its coherence and claims into question. Briefly, a traditional account of conscience is then described, before ending with a related thesis for future discussion.
- conscientious objection
- philosophical ethics
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Contributors TCS is the sole author of this work.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
Patient consent for publication Not required.