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Approaching this subject as a decided nonexpert, I want to explore a number of questions about a right to conscience in respect to efusals to provide health-care services. My hope is that the questions will seem important and relevant, even if some of my tentative answers are controversial or even misguided.

It is helpful to distinguish three levels of analysis: 1) What would be an ideal scope for rights of conscience if we could put aside difficulties of administration and political feasibility? 2) What would be a desirable approach given administrative and political realities? 3) And in what rhetoric should claims of conscience be formulated when supporters address those with authority to enact legal rights?


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