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The need for feasible compromises on conscientious objection: response to Card
  1. Aaron J Ancell1,
  2. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong2
  1. 1 EJ Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2 Department of Philosophy, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Aaron J Ancell, Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA ; aaron.ancell{at}


Robert Card criticises our proposal for managing some conscientious objections in medicine. Unfortunately, he severely mischaracterises the nature of our proposal, its scope and its implications. He also overlooks the fact that our proposal is a compromise designed for a particular political context. We correct Card’s mischaracterisations, explain why we believe compromise is necessary and explain how we think proposed compromises should be evaluated.

  • conscientious objection

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  • Contributors Both authors contributed to conceiving and writing this response.

  • 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.

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