Essay on Relationship Between Religion And Ethics

1138 Words Mar 11th, 2015 null Page
The relationship between religion and ethics is extraordinarily complex. Nowhere is this complexity more apparent than in the medical profession, where many now-commonplace procedures violate moral guidelines prescribed by various religions. While health care professionals have an incontrovertible right to religious freedoms, whether they should have the right to withdraw treatment on the basis of their beliefs is a more contentious issue, as conflicts between religious conviction and required patient care have in many cases proven detrimental to the patient. This paper will argue that allowing health care providers to make ethical decisions informed by their religious beliefs in such cases where their decisions will detrimentally impact the quality of care afforded to the patient is unethical. I will contend that such a decision would violate the four principles of biomedical ethics, and illustrate this point through examining two hypothetical scenarios. Furthermore, I will consider an objection which falsely equivocates the rights of patients and providers to refuse and withdraw treatment respectively, and will argue that a health care provider’s religious duties are a prima facie duty which is overridden by their professional obligation to fulfil their patients’ needs. I will conclude that allowing health care professionals to make ethical decisions based on personal religious beliefs is permissible only when it does not compromise patient care.
Freedom of religion is a…

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