Leaflet webinars Ethics orange

Webinar 1: Conscientious objection in psychology - Can psychologists say no to the clients because of their values?

Friday, 16th June, 12:00 - 13:00 CEST

Registration required:

Presenter (interviewee): Assoc. prof. Miguel Ricou

Content of the webinar

Conscientious objection is the refusal to perform a legal role or responsibility due to personal beliefs. This is a controversial issue.

Some authors argue that health professionals have the right to express their fundamental values, like any other person.

Other authors argue that by assuming the role of health professional, the person is assuming compliance with the ethical principles associated with this profession, and therefore this should take precedence over their personal principles.

Between these two models, there is a group of mediators who aim to promote more balanced solutions which do not compromise the rights of professionals and, do not jeopardise the rights of people using healthcare.

In psychology, this issue takes on even more complex dimensions, since psychologists use relational interventions in which it is very important that the client's values are respected and promoted.

Therefore, the idea that psychologists may condition their interventions on their own personal values is highly questionable. Some people defend that if a person recognises that they will be unable to avoid being influenced by their personal principles, it would be better to refuse the intervention.
We intend to reflect on this topic which is little or not discussed in psychology but which is becoming more pertinent with the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide in more countries.

Registration link

Who is Miguel Ricou?

Miguel Ricou has a PhD in Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Psychology of Coimbra University. Master in Bioethics, Faculty of Medicine of Porto University. Clinical Psychologist.

President of Specialty Board of Clinical and Health Psychology of the Portuguese Order of Psychologists 

Member of the National Council of Ethics for the Life Sciences of Portugal

Member of the National Council of Health of Portugal

Member of the National Council of Mental Health of Portugal

Member of the Board of Ethics of EFPA – Co-convenor and Portuguese Representative Ethics Expert H2020 Program EU – Directorate-general for research & innovation

Assistant Professor of Bioethics, Faculty of Medicine of Oporto University.

Assistant Professor of Psychopathology, Portucalense University.

Associated Member of CINTESIS@RISE - Center for Health Technology and Services Research