Action Item for Albertans – Write to the CPSA



March 25, 2009

ARPA Canada Note: The following action item has been prepared by Southern Alberta ARPA. It is in response to the news item located here.  Please take the time to follow-up on this action item and encourage your family and friends to do the same. Kudo’s to Southern Alberta ARPA for showing this innitiative. 

Your immediate attention is needed for the following issue!: The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA)is preparing to move from the Medical Profession Act to the Health Professions Act (HPA), and as such has prepared draft Standards of Practice for Alberta’s medical profession. Standards of Practice represent the minimum standard of professional behaviour and good practice Alberta physicians are expected to meet, and they will be used to arbitrate disciplinary cases. The Standards are essentially the rules physicians must follow and they will replace the majority of existing College policies and guidelines. 

However, the proposed guidelines include changes that would require physicians to set aside their moral beliefs in order to provide women with unhindered access to abortion.  In the draft copy of the proposed Standards of Practice (under the heading “Termination of Pregnancy and Birth Control”), it states that:

“Even if a physician’s religious or personal convictions prevent the physician from advising or offering care regarding birth control or termination of a pregnancy, the physician must ensure that the patient who seeks such advice or medical care is offered access to information and assistance in making an informed decision and access to available medical options.” 

The Council of the CPSA is reviewing these guidelines, and their review will be completed at their June meeting. 

You are asked to contact the CPSA and tell them why you think this proposed guideline change is wrong.  See the following letter for the name and address of who to write, and ideas on what to write:

[Your name]
[Your street address]
[City, Province]
[Postal Code] 
Dr. Trevor Theman
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta
2700 – 10020 100 Street NW
Edmonton, AB
T5J 0N3 
Dear Dr. Theman, 
Tell him who you are and thank him for his time. 
Explain why you object to the proposed changes that ask physicians to set aside their moral beliefs to ensure women have unhindered access to abortion. 
For example:
•Why is it right for the CPSA to act according its own moral beliefs (pro-choice) but to deny doctors the right to act according to theirs (pro-life)?
•Our constitution states that we all have freedom of conscience and religion.  By asking doctors to set aside their own consciences, you are taking away their freedom.
•Abortion has many negative side effects on a woman’s mental and physical well-being; doctors should not have to refer a woman to a procedure that will bring her harm.
•A baby may feel pain as early as 11 to 13 weeks gestation.  A doctor should not have to facilitate the indescribable pain and death of his tiny, unborn patient. 
[Your signature] 
[Your name] 
Alberta, Freedom of Conscience Email Us 

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