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Table 6 Legal Reasons

From: Conscientious objection to participation in abortion by midwives and nurses: a systematic review of reasons

Legal Reasons
Safeguarding conscience (+ 6/−1; rm.:23)
+ Ethical dilemma can be addressed (7)
+ Protects HCP’s conscience (4)
+ Acknowledges legitimacy of conscience at institutional level (4)
+ Protection for individuals’ consciences (3)
- Authorises discriminatory refusals (2)
+ Should encourage ethical deliberation (2)
+ Provides a basis for professional grounds of CO (1)
Legality argument (+ 2/−2; rm.:14)
- HCP must suspend prolife conscience (5)
- Requires professionals who make it available (5)
+ Codified conscience laws are just as legal as abortion (3)
+ Legality is not a binary concept (1)
Critique of the conscience clause (+ 0/−2; rm.:2)
- Licenses harm to patients (3)
- Overlooks patient’s moral integrity (3)