Resolution 1763: The Right to Conscientious Objection in Lawful Medical Care
The practice of conscientious objection arises in the field of health care when health-care providers refuse to provide certain health services based on religious, moral or philosophical objections. While recognizing the right of an individual to conscientiously object to performing a certain medical procedure, the Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee is deeply concerned about the increasing and largely unregulated occurrence of this practice, especially in the field of reproductive health care, in many Council of Europe member states.
There is a need to balance the right of conscientious objection of an individual not to perform a certain medical procedure with the responsibility of the profession and the right of each patient to access lawful medical care in a timely manner. “No person, hospital or institution shall be coerced, held liable or discriminated against in any manner because of a refusal to perform, accommodate, assist or submit to an abortion, the performance of a human miscarriage, or euthanasia or any act which could cause the death of a human foetus or embryo, for any reason.