2018 Plunkett Lecture

Thursday 22 March 2018
St Vincent’s Clinic, Darlinghurst NSW

Should we take away Hippocrates' licence? Professionalism, conscience and tolerance in a good society

Professor Daniel Sulmasy MD PhD MACP
Professor of Biomedical Ethics
Georgetown University, Washington DC

Is it true that a doctor’s conscience has little place in the delivery of modern medical care? It has recently been argued that, if a doctor is not prepared to offer a service which is both legally permitted and wanted by a patient, then he or she should find another profession. This raises the following question: How should we assess arguments against a doctor’s right to refuse to provide a test or treatment based on a conscientious objection to the use of the desired intervention? In this lecture Daniel Sulmasy advanced an argument about the proper scope and limits of conscientious objection in healthcare.

View the recording of the 2018 Plunkett lecture

Listen via ABC's Big Ideas website

Past lectures

Lectures from more recent years, together with invited speakers, are listed below. Recorded lectures can be accessed via the topic link.

Year Lecturer Topic
2017 Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney Drive-thru healthcare: is there more to the healing relationship than supply and demand?
2016 Mr Mark Tedeschi AM QC,NSW Senior Crown Prosecutor and author of Murder at Myall Creek John Hubert Plunkett: The Martin Luther King of colonial Australia and prosecutor of the Myall Creek massacre trials
2015 Associate Professor Justin Oakley, Monash University What should surgical patients be told? The value and limits of medical transparency.
2014 Professor Wendy Rogers, Macquarie University Over diagnosis: when too much medicine is bad for your health!
2013 Dr Steve Matthews, ACU Musical memories and the way we were: musical therapy in progressive cognitive impairment.
2012 Dr Andrew McGee, Queensland University of Technology My brain, my mind, my body: implications for stem cell research, end of life and organ donation.
2011 Dr Paul Biegler, Monash University The ethical treatment of depression: shortcomings in contemporary practice.
2010 Dr John Forge, University of Sydney The responsible scientist: ethical challenges of research and practice.
2009 Prof Greg Craven, ACU and Mr Edward Santow, University of Sydney Human rights laws: a benefit to patients, participants in research, residents in nursing homes?


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