freedom of conscience Tag

07 Feb 2018 Ontario Court decides it’s reasonable to force doctors to refer for assisted suicide

Ontario doctors who have religious or conscientious objections to practices such as abortion or doctor-assisted suicide (euphemistically called Medical Assistance in Dying) will nevertheless have to give effective referrals to their patients for the procedures. Either that, or they’ll have to change their medical specialties into areas where these things are not an issue. That’s the upshot of a unanimous ruling of a 3-judge panel of the Ontario Superior Court, issued on January 31st. The ruling addresses a legal challenge filed by the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada (CMDS), several...

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09 Nov 2017 Passed: Manitoba’s Bill 34 to protect conscience rights

**UPDATE: Bill 34 passed the Manitoba Legislature unanimously. Please be sure to thank your MLA. You can use our EasyMail here.** Following the federal government’s law that legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide in 2016, Manitoba’s PC government introduced Bill 34 to protect the conscience rights of medical professionals who rightly don’t believe it is ethical to assist in killing. Already at the bill’s introduction the Manitoba NDP opposed it, saying it was unnecessary. Since then, it appears the NDP and independent MLA Steven Fletcher may be trying to directly or indirectly stall...

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07 Nov 2017 Manitoba is unified on protecting Doctor’s consciences

Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew It appears there will be all-party support for a bill to protect conscience rights for doctors in Manitoba. The issue came up in the Manitoba Legislature’s Question Period last month in the context of a man whose requests for euthanasia had been delayed because he was in a Catholic hospital which doesn't offer or refer for euthanasia. NDP leader Wab Kinew raised some questions about the process in that case, but also said his party would "respect the rights of health-care professionals to treat patients in a...

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27 Jun 2017 Partial Conscience Protection in Manitoba

Manitoba Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen The Manitoba government has set out a new policy on the issue of euthanasia. It says it will not force faith-based institutions to provide what’s known as MAID, or medical assistance in dying. Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen says the government wants to respect the decisions of medical professionals and health care facilities to not provide the “service”. However, the government policy also says hospitals that don’t provide MAID have to have protocols and procedures in place to transfer patients to an alternate facility. The issue came to a...

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20 Jun 2017 Doctors sue Ontario government to defend the right to refuse to kill their own patients

Albertos Polizogopoulos, lawyer A three-judge panel of the Ontario Superior Court is now weighing the evidence and legal arguments on whether doctors in that province are entitled to conscience protection when it comes to issues such as euthanasia. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario adopted a policy last year requiring all doctors to, at very least, make a so-called "effective referral" for patients who express a desire for doctor-assisted suicide. Lawyer Albertos Polizogopoulos represented 5 doctors and several doctors’ groups that are trying to have that policy overturned. He...

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13 Jun 2017 LN Feature: Doctors – Moral Agents or “Technicians”?

- Bruce Clemenger, President, Evangetlical Fellowship of Canada There's an important court hearing starting in Ontario today. It involves the conscience rights of doctors; the notion that they should not be compelled to do things that run against their moral or religious beliefs. The regulatory body that governs the medical profession in Ontario has a policy that essentially takes away the freedom of doctors to apply their moral standards to certain medical procedures; specifically, euthanasia. That policy is being challenged in court. The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada is part of the...

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23 May 2017 Conscience Protection in Manitoba

Manitoba Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen The Manitoba government has introduced legislation to strengthen the notion of conscience protection for doctors and other healthcare professionals. Bill 34 is called the “Medical Assistance in Dying (Protection for Health Professionals and Others) Act”. Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen says it would prevent sanctions against a health professional who refuses to participate in a medically assisted death and ensure that medical professionals are not disciplined for their beliefs. The bill also prohibits a professional regulatory body – such as the College of Physicians and Surgeons – from requiring...

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04 May 2017 New Ontario bill would make participation in euthanasia voluntary

Take Action: Send an EasyMail letter to share your concerns with your MPP   A new private member’s bill in Ontario, Bill 129, would allow doctors and nurses to refuse to participate in “medical assistance in dying”. Progressive Conservative MPP Jeff Yurek tabled Bill 129 earlier this week. The bill would amend the Regulated Health Professions Act to protect all regulated health professionals against civil, administrative, disciplinary, employment, credentialing, or other penalties for refusing toparticipate, directly or indirectly, in MAID. The bill makes it clear that medical professionals will not have to refer patients for MAID,...

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04 Apr 2017 LN Feature: An Impossible Dilemma

Larry Worthen, The Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada On the feature this week, we have Larry Worthen from the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada. Mr. Worthen gave testimony last week to the Standing Committee on Finance & Economic Affairs at the Ontario Legislature. The Committee is considering Bill 84, a law that would impose some regulations on the provision of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) in the Ontario context, and Worthen’s submission to the Committee centred on the need for “conscience protections” for medical professionals as part...

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17 Mar 2015 Conscience rights of Ontario doctors ignored

Update April 13, 2015: Read "Tunnel vision at the College of Physicians" in the National Post here. Last summer, the College of Physicians and Surgeons Ontario (CPSO) asked for public consultation for changing their policy on "balancing" the conscience rights of doctors with the rights of patients to receive whatever treatment they wanted from whatever doctor they approached. At stake is whether doctors have the right to refuse treatment if they have conscientious objections to the treatment. If a doctor felt a particular treatment or prescription was unwise, immoral, medically unnecessary or otherwise harmful, can he refuse to provide or refer for the treatment? For example, can a Christian doctor refuse to prescribe birth control pills if that particular doctor thinks that such a prescription is unethical, or is simply bad medicine? What if the objection is religiously motivated? These are not just hypothetical questions: three doctors in Ottawa recently came under fire for refusing to prescribe the birth control pill.
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