Project update and outputs


As part of the Network, four roundtables will be held between March 2018 and March 2020, exploring the ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘how’ and the ‘when and where’ of accommodating claims of conscience in healthcare practice. Within our roundtable format, key contributors will present arguments, thoughts, case studies etc, for discussion and deliberation. Our aim is to maximise discussion and engagement around the table, and to promote meaningful exchange to advance understanding of the questions under discussion.

Roundtable 1 – University of Strathclyde – held in March 2018.

Roundtable 2 – Cardiff University – to be held in November 2018.

Roundtable 3 – Lancaster University – to be held in June 2019.

Roundtable 4 – University of Strathclyde – to be held in March 2020.



We have edited a special issue on conscientious objection in health care for The New Bioethics: A Multidisciplinary Journal of Biotechnology and the Body, including articles by ACoRN core participants and presenters at Roundtables 1 and 2.


International events

We organised a panel session at the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, Pittsburgh, USA, October 24-27 2019. Two members of the project team were joined by two US scholars and the papers presented mapped on to the project’s research questions:

Stephen Smith, ‘Conscience and the decisions of healthcare professionals‘.

Patrick Clipsham, ‘Conscientious objections: Beyond the context of health care?

Sara Fovargue, ‘Accommodating conscientious objection in health care: The approach in England & Wales‘.

Mark Wicclair, ‘Reasonable accommodation‘.


Patrick’s paper was based on: ‘Conscientious objections beyond the context of health care’ (2016) 30(1) Public Affairs Quarterly 30-50