Conscientious objection

Journal articles and books

Special edition of the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics on Conscientious Objection

Casas, Lidia, Invoking Conscientious Objection in Reproductive Health Care: Evolving Issues in Latin America LL.M. thesis, University of Toronto, 2005. Abstract online at:

Cook, Rebecca J., Arango Olaya, Monica and Dickens, Bernard M.,‘Healthcare responsibilities and conscientious objection,’ 104 Int’l J. Gyn. & Obst. 249-252 (2009).

Dickens, Bernard M. and Rebecca J. Cook. 2011. Conscientious Commitment to Women’s Health. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 113(2): 163-166 abstract=1832549.

Dickens, Bernard M. and Rebecca J. Cook. 2000. Scope and limits of conscientious objection. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 71(1):71-77, id=946461.

Dickens, Bernard. 2009. Legal Protection and Limits of Conscientious Objection: When Conscientious Objection is Unethical. Medicine and Law, 28:337-347.

Dickens, Bernard "Conscientious Objection and Professionalism" (2009) 4(2) Expert Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology 97-100.

Dickens, Bernard M. 2006. Ethical misconduct by abuse of conscientious objection laws. Medicine and Law, 25(3): 513-522.

Dickens, Bernard M. 2001. Reproductive health services and the law and ethics of conscientious objection. Medicine and Law, 20:283-293.

Harris, Lisa S. M.D, Recognizing Conscience in Abortion Provision, The New England Journal of Medicine,  13 September 2012 Respecting the conscience of providers to perform abortions.

Lamacková A, Conscientious objection in reproductive health care: Analysis of Pichon and Sajous v. France. European Journal of Health Law 2008 May;15(1):7-43.

This article analyzes the European Court of Human Rights' decision on admissibility in Pichon and Sajous v. France (2001) and argues that a balancing approach should be applied in cases of conscientious objection in the sexual and reproductive health care context.

Lema, VM,Conscientious objection and reproductive health service delivery in sub-Saharan Africa. African Journal of Reproductive Health. 2012 Mar;16(1):15-21.  In addressing factors contributing to delay in attaining MDG5 in sub-Saharan Africa, this article consider the role of conscientious objection in influencing access to quality reproductive health care services and strategies to address it.

Van Bogaert LJ,  The limits of conscientious objection to abortion in the developing world. Dev World Bioeth. 2002 Dec;2(2):131-43. In the developed world, where referral to another service provider is for the most part accessible, a conscientious objector to abortion does not really put the abortion seeker's life at risk. The same cannot be said in developing countries even when abortion is decriminalized. This is because referral procedures are fraught with major obstacles. Therefore, it is argued that the right to conscientious objection to abortion should be limited by the circumstances in which the request for abortion arises.

Zampas, Christina and Ximena Andión-Ibañez. 2012. Conscientious Objection to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services: International Human Rights Standards and European Law and Practice. European Journal of Health Law, 19:231-256.

For additional journal sources see University of Toronto Faculty of Law: