The World Medical Association is revising the International Code of Medical Ethics (ICoME) to limit the scope of conscientious objection.
According to a WMA press release, “Workgroup members and observers representing more than 15 countries have reviewed the document carefully to determine what might be missing from the ICoME, what might be superfluous, what could potentially be organised differently.”
The principal change would be to make referral a duty for a doctor who has a conscientious objection. The current code says:
Physicians have an ethical obligation to minimise disruption to patient care. Conscientious objection must only be considered if the individual patient is not discriminated against or disadvantaged, the patient’s health is not endangered, and undelayed continuity of care is ensured.