Conscientious Objection to forced pharmaceutical interventions: FAQ

This list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) – with a response to those questions – has been put together by Mick Mckeown and Jonathan Gadsby and published by the Critical Mental Health Nurses’ Network. It begins:

“Following is a list of frequently asked questions or concerns that nurses and others may have to the idea of conscientious objection from forced pharmaceutical interventions. In each case we offer some responses. Our responses are not intended to dismiss these concerns out of hand – in many cases we recognise that they are motivated from the same kinds of care and commitment to service-users and colleagues that motivates us, too. Yet it is also true that we cannot see that any of these questions deal a decisive blow to the need for this new right.

  1. Will nurses be asked at their job interview if they are a ‘conscientious objector’? If not directly, perhaps they will be asked questions that try to reveal if they are likely to refuse to give forced pharmaceutical interventions and the answer may go against them?

We think that this would be a real risk if the idea of conscientious objection were to be considered an identity (‘I am a conscientious objector’) rather than a case-by-case decision. However, we feel there are a number of reasons to suggest that it should only be afforded as a right on the basis of a case-by-case decision. That being the case, the only answer any nurse could be required to give to the question of whether they would object to enforced pharmaceutical interventions is that they would look forward to weighing up the decision to enforce pharmacy carefully, with colleagues. It would be up to the managers to show that they are able to uphold all of the rights of their staff.

The following three FAQs share many features and will be addressed together …”

You can read more from here.

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