Health care professionals’ conscience clause undermined by the European Parliament

Publié le 10 Apr, 2017

On 14 March 2017, the European Parliament adopted the Ernest Urtasun report which focuses on “equality between men and women within the European Union”. This document includes “an obvious obstacle to conscientious objection”in paragraph 47. Noting the “difficulties in accessing sexual health and genetics services”, it calls on ‘Member States to ensure that conscientious objection clauses do not prevent patients from accessing legal medical care’, including contraception and abortion mentioned in paragraphs 46 and 48″.


The report qualifies increasing recourse to the fundamental right of conscientious objection as  “excessive”, implying “that there should be limits to exercising this right”. This recommendation “undermines the conscientious objection clause of health professionals and their freedom to exercise it”.


The Urtasun report has no restrictive impact in the European Union but Parliament and the Commission can “produce a legislative report that could affect a restrictive legislative procedure”.

Institut Européen de Bioéthique (30/03/2017)

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