Intended for healthcare professionals


Conscientious objection in medicine: Doctors' freedom of conscience

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 16 February 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:425
  1. Vaughan P Smith, general practitioner (
  1. Taunton, Somerset TA2 7SZ

    EDITOR—Since visiting Auschwitz, I have grappled with the question of how I would have behaved as a doctor in Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia. I hope I would have had the moral courage to refuse to participate in the various perversions of medicine that these regimes demanded—for example, respectively, eugenic “research” and psychiatric “treatment” of dissidents.1 …

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