Ethics Glossary

Conscientious Objection (i.e., ‘opting out’) 

Request to be removed from participation in a situation in order not to violate a categorical (i.e., ‘always’ or ‘never’) value or commitment.  If accepted, the responsibilities of the conscientious objector would be shifted to other participants.  For this reason, ‘opting out’ should only be requested when participation would threaten one’s existential integrity so deeply that patients and care team members would be at risk.