I recently attended a Seminar through work - it was around whether or not people should be able to Conscientiously Object to providing (or not providing) healthcare to patients. There were two professors giving their side of the coin and I found myself leaning towards the "No, it doesn't have a place" but, as you do, when I thought more on it I remain on the fence.
Edit: I blanked the below out, as I can't find any reference to what the Professor was talking about online - I don't want to misinform people, so ignore it. Kept it up for posterity, but it is likely inaccurate.
For example, in New Zealand currently (pending citation!) - we have some staff who object to providing healthcare for patients who have just undergone an abortion. The Hospital will shift rosters to make this doable and so the patients can still be taken care of. Legally, they are allowed to object and for the most part things continue as normal.
Another example however, is in rural New Zealand - often times in such isolated areas, a single Dr will provide healthcare for an entire catchment or town. If that Dr chose to, they could object from providing contraceptive options for patients, limiting that area's choices dramatically. There has been at least one reported example of this refusal happening.
On the other hand, should we be forcing people perform acts they deem incorrect from a moral standpoint? If they refuse based on a belief system, should we refuse their refusal and are they then being punished for holding their beliefs?
Obviously this question isn't just about NZ, but I wanted to see what other people thought of the idea of Conscientious Objection in Medicine. Was a fascinating Seminar and I could easily see the points of both sides.