Common Hour Medical Ethics Seminar

By: Heather Farr

During common hour on Thursday, April 13, 2023, in the Lutheran Heritage Room, a medical ethics seminar was held. This was held by the nationally known voice in the field of Medical Ethics, Mark Wicclair. The talk was aimed at exploring the conscientious objections that healthcare workers have and what the use of them are and what limits they have. The seminar was about the main ethics and integrity that all healthcare professionals must follow. The main topics that were covered are the main overview of morals and rules of medical ethics.

During the seminar, he talked about many things some things that stood out that were talked about were, conscience absolutism, protecting moral integrity, reasonable accommodation, not discriminating against others, and conscience commitment. One of the first topics Mark Wicclair talked about was that every doctor or healthcare provider has the right to refuse care if it does not align with their morals. The one exception to this is that it can not affect the well-being of the patient. This leads the way to the talk about moral integrity and protecting the doctor’s and healthcare workers’ morals. During this section of the seminar, he said that protecting morals is a way to reduce the amount of feelings of shame, guilt, and loss of self-respect.

A reasonable accommodation is the in-between conscience absolutism and conscientious commitment or provision. A reasonable accommodation is a way to help protect the provider’s morals while also still providing treatment. Conscientious commitment or provisions is the other side of ethics. It means that a healthcare worker feels obligated to provide care even when this care is prohibited by law. He also mentioned that there is a difference between not providing care to a specific person and just not providing a specific service.

While there Madeleine White said, “I gained a better understanding of the rights that physicians have based on their moral beliefs”. She also mentioned that this seminar was very helpful for her because she hopes to become a doctor.

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