I’m a doctor and I am uncomfortable with prescribing some medication and referring patients for certain procedures. Am I able to practice medicine according to my conscience?


Professionals like doctors will usually have a whole body of law, regulation and codes of conduct that apply to professional practice. The law recognises the importance of an individual’s right to act in accordance with their conscience, but it balances this against a patient’s right to access to treatment. You should be aware of the codes of conduct and rules that apply to you exercising your conscience rights. These rules can differ between states and territories. In some jurisdictions a doctor may be able to not provide the service themselves, but must refer the patient to another doctor who can. If you find yourself in a very difficult situation and are not sure how you can act, you can contact a lawyer for specific advice.