Philosophical Failure and the Reasonability View of Conscientious Objection: Can Reason Adjudicate Metaphysical or Religious Claims?
The Journal of medicine and philosophy
Robert Card has proposed a reasonability view of conscientious objection that asks providers to state the reasons for their objection for evaluation and approval by a review board. Jason Marsh has challenged Card to provide explicit criteria for what makes a conscientious objection reasonable, which he claims will be too difficult a task given that such objections often involve contentious metaphysical or religious claims. Card has responded by outlining standards by which a conscientious objection could be judged reasonable. In this paper, I extend Marsh's critique to key concepts in the standards outlined by Card such as abortifacient, harm, emergency, and discrimination, showing they can be given radically different interpretations given different metaphysical or religious presumptions. To resolve these conflicting interpretations, a reasonability view of conscientious objection will need more than the criteria outlined by Card, it will need the resources to evaluate the reasonability of metaphysical or religious claims.
Brummett AL. Philosophical failure and the reasonability view of conscientious objection: can reason adjudicate metaphysical or religious claims? J Med Philos. 2023 Feb 17;48(1):12-20. doi: 10.1093/jmp/jhac033. PMID: 36573544.