Forgot password?

L’utilité de ce genre d’institutions est incontestable. Car le monde moderne est sans cesse confronté à des innovations, médicales ou autres, qui s’appliquent à l’homme ou à son environnement proche. Ce lieu est donc nécessaire pour préparer la matière intellectuelle qui sera ensuite transférée aux citoyens afin que ceux- ci puissent se prononcer quant à la légitimité de ces innovations.


Professeur Axel Kahn, le célèbre généticien français, lors de l’inauguration de la Fondation Brocher


Podcasts du Cycle Brocher




Le Cycle Brocher organise de nombreuses conférences au cours de l'année. La plupart des conférences sont disponibles en podcast

Retrouvez les podcasts du Cycle Brocher


7 - 9 juin 2016

The conscience of health professionals in the time of biotechnologies: present and future of conscientious objection in medicine


Conscientious Objection
Brocher Foundation, June 7 – 9.


9.30- 10.25

The ethical‑philosophical point of view on conscience Part I

Steve Clarke (Charles Sturt University)
Is conscientious objection in healthcare too easy?

10.25 – 11.20

Policy, Law, Standards, and Conscience Part I

Christian Munthe
All or nothing: The legal, ethical and jurisprudential basis of legal rights to conscientious objection of voluntarily employed professionals

11.20 – 11:35 Break

11:35– 12:30

The perspective of healthcare personnel Part I

Dominic Wilkinson (University of Oxford)
Rationing conscience: Should health professionals be permitted to conscientiously object to rationing?

12:30- 13:25

Reverse conscientious objection: doctors objecting to restrictive policies Part I

Julian Savulescu (University of Oxford)

13:25 – 14:10 LUNCH


Policies to regulate conscientious objection in the era of biotechnologies Part I

Francesca Minerva (University of Ghent)
Cosmetic surgery and conscientious objection

15:05- 16:00

Tom Douglas (University of Oxford)
Refusing to treat sexual dysfunction in sex offenders

16:00 – 16:15 Break

16:15- 17:10

When too many doctors object: the Case of Italy

Maurizio Mori (University of Turin)
Conscientious Objection. What is more relevant: numbers or provision of service?

17:10- 17:30

Summation of Day 1 & Discussion of Policy Points


09:30- 10:25

The ethical--‐‑philosophical point of view on conscience Part II

Jeanette Kennett (Macquarie University)
What kind of conscience deserves protection? Private versus professional role morality

10:25 – 11: 20

Policy, Law, Standards, and Conscience Part II

Robert Card (SUNY Oswego)
Reasons and Policy in the Conscientious Objection in Medicine Debate

11:20- 11:35 Break

11:35- 12:30

Angela Ballantyne (Otago University)
When does conscientious objection amount to culturally incompetent care?

12:30 – 13:25

The perspective of healthcare personnel Part II

Katrien Devolder (University of Oxford)
Should Doctors object to helping Gay Couples have Children?

13:25 – 14: 10 LUNCH

14:10 – 15:05

Reverse conscientious objection: doctors objecting to restrictive policies Part II

Alberto Giubilini (University of Oxford)
From individual conscience to institutional conscience: can hospitals be conscientious objectors?

15:05- 16:00

The ethical-philosophical points of view Part III

Ingmar Persson (University of Gothenburg)

16:00- 16:15

16:15 – 17:00

Summation of Day 2 & Policy Discussion


The ethical education of medical students

09:30 – 10:25

Justin Oakley (Monash University)
Conscientious objection, role virtues, and ethical environments at the frontiers of medical practice

10:25 – 11:20

Sharyn Milnes (Deakin University)
Professionalism and Ethics: The Hidden Curriculum and its Influence on Conscientious Objection

11:20- 11:35 Break

11:35 – 12:15

Discussion: Policy Points for Education and Training,

12.15 LUNCH/ END


Brocher Foundation



The aims of this workshop are


  1. To discuss what kinds of conscientious objection are likely to be advanced by health professionals within the next decades,
  2. to develop criteria for determining the ethical acceptability of different kinds of conscientious objection
  3. to recommend regulatory policies
  4. to propose ways in which conscientious objection should be taught and dealt with in the education of medical students
  5. To foster collaboration between researchers working in different institutions and countries, particularly the UK, Australia, Sweden and Italy

Conscientious objection by health professionals is one of the most pressing problems in bioethics. Health professionals are already allowed to object to many activities, most notably abortion, contraception, and various aspects of end-of-life care ranging from withdrawal of treatment to euthanasia in those jurisdictions in which it is legal. However, the introduction of new medical options, such as IVF (especially for single people and gay couples), embryonic stem cell therapies, genetic selection, human bio-enhancement, sex modification, create new areas of potential moral conflicts. Recent advances in genetic engineering foreshadow even more controversial interventions over which people will be divided; for example, gene editing using CRISPR/Cas9 has recently been used by scientists in China to modify genes responsible for beta-thalassemia, and the same genetic engineering technique holds promise for many other types of interventions on human embryos. New medical developments of this type- whose applications range from therapeutic to enhancing interventions – will likely create many more cases of conscientious objection in the healthcare context. The compromise policies currently used to regulate conscientious objection to abortion might not be adequate. In this "horizon scanning" workshop, we aim to analyse the ethical, legal and practical problems that conscientious objection is likely to raise in the context of future advances in technology, and to propose a range of reasonable approaches.