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The no correlation argument: can the morality of conscientious objection be empirically supported? the Italian case

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Medical Ethics, November 2017
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Title
The no correlation argument: can the morality of conscientious objection be empirically supported? the Italian case
Published in
BMC Medical Ethics, November 2017
DOI 10.1186/s12910-017-0221-x
Pubmed ID
Authors

Marco Bo, Carla Maria Zotti, Lorena Charrier

Abstract

The legitimacy of conscientious objection to abortion continues to fuel heated debate in Italy. In two recent decisions, the European Committee for Social Rights underlined that conscientious objection places safe, legal, and accessible care and services out of reach for most Italian women and that the measures that Italy has adopted to guarantee free access to abortion services are inadequate. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Health states that current Italian legislation, if appropriately applied, accommodates both the right to conscientious objection and the right to voluntary abortion. One empirical argument used to demonstrate that conscientious objection does not create barriers to abortion is the "no correlation" argument, which the Italian Committee for Bioethics employed to demonstrate that no association exists between conscientious objection and waiting times for voluntary abortion in Italy and to support the weak form of conventional comprise adopted by the Italian legislation to balance the conflict between women' autonomy and healthcare professionals' moral integrity. Conversely, we showed how the "no correlation" argument fails to demonstrate the absence of a relationship between the number of conscientious objectors and waiting times for voluntary abortion, and that the limitations of the "no correlation" argument itself demonstrate how it is still difficult to describe the real effect of conscientious objection on the access to abortion services and to evaluate the suitability of conventional compromise to effectively balance conflicting moral principles. Further studies are needed to better describe the relationship between conscientious objection and waiting times for voluntary abortion. If new evidence would show that the increasing proportion of objectors does undermine the efficacy of the Italian law and the right of a woman to freely obtain a voluntary abortion, new ways will need to be found to address the conflict between moral principles and restrict the protection accorded to the principle of moral integrity. This would inevitably imply the need to constrain and to redefine the terms and conditions for claiming conscientious objection.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 23 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 23 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 6 26%
Student > Bachelor 4 17%
Student > Doctoral Student 2 9%
Professor 1 4%
Student > Ph. D. Student 1 4%
Other 3 13%
Unknown 6 26%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 7 30%
Nursing and Health Professions 6 26%
Philosophy 1 4%
Chemistry 1 4%
Engineering 1 4%
Other 0 0%
Unknown 7 30%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 06 December 2017.
All research outputs
#9,402,099
of 12,259,388 outputs
Outputs from BMC Medical Ethics
#456
of 517 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#224,245
of 342,742 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Medical Ethics
#29
of 32 outputs
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