Conceptualizing a Jewish theory of conscientious refusal seems to be an especially difficult task, since traditional Jewish legal and religious thought never developed a philosophical concept of conscience that would resemble the European theories.
As has been suggested above, since Yes hayahu Leibowitz was seen as a moral authority by wide range of intellectuals, he could have made a major contribution to Israeli Jewish political philosophy had he developed a theory of civil disobedience or conscientious refusal, but unfortunately he missed this opportunity, in spite of the fact that he did contribute to the public justification of the activities of the refusal movements.
Moreover, Leibowitz simply had no such theory; he saw civil disobedience as a useful political act, (43) and had no interest whatsoever in conscientious refusal.
CONSCIENTIOUS REFUSAL AND THE "LEIBOWITZIAN LEGACY"
Avi Sagi and Ron Shapira demonstrated in an article that the present instances of refusal to serve in the territories were to be classified as cases of civil disobedience and not as cases of individual conscientious refusal. While they admitted the possibility that the state could exempt from punishment a person who disobeys the laws in order to preserve his or her personal autonomy and moral integrity (this is the case of private conscientious objection), they insisted that this did not apply to the vast majority of Israelis who refuse to serve in the territories:
(30) Michael DeBoer makes the claim that a provider's refusal, including conscientious refusal, to provide/perform certain services serves as a "boundary" that delimits the patient-provider relationship.
First, it is important to define the term that is the pivot point for conscientious refusals to provide healthcare goods and services.
As in the physician context, most issues with an institution's conscientious refusals can be alleviated by clear communication of institutional values before admission to the institution.
(26) This section considers the discreet proposition that conscientious refusals in medical contexts should be filtered through the concept of contract.
We first critically evaluated and contributed to the philosophical and bioethical literature on conscience and conscientious refusals. Among the issues we examined were the moral nature and value of conscience, the moral demands on professionals, the potential benefit and harm of conscientious objections by health care professionals, and ethically plausible responses by professional bodies to these objections.
Conscientious Refusals in Reproductive Health Care," described at: conscience.carolynmcleod.com.
It says, "Although respect for conscience is important, conscientious refusals
should be limited if they constitute an imposition of religious or moral beliefs on patients, negatively affect a patient's health, are based on scientific misinformation, or create or reinforce racial or socioeconomic inequalities."