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




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