The following is a guest post by Jonathan Van Dyken. Please read to the end for a step-by-step guide to speaking up very effectively on this particular issue. Do you live in Ontario and have a pro-life family doctor? If you value his survival, then you need to speak out NOW! The ancient Hippocratic oath which essentially required that a doctor, first of all, do no harm has been transformed into his professional obligation to do harm in certain situations. For example, he must either perform abortions or refer to another doctor who will. My understanding is that this requirement will also be in place for prescription of contraceptives, mutilation for sex changes, and also death by euthanasia (which has increasing likelihood of being legalized by the Supreme Court of Canada). The CPSO Policy Who would be the author of such horrible confusion? The new policy comes from the regulating College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO). The government of Ontario says the CPSO must do more to conform to the Ontario Human Rights Code, the root of the confusion. The Ontario government appoints to the CPSO's governing council 13 to 15 of its 32 to 34 members. These appointees are not doctors and have their terms decided by the provincial government.
MP Maurice Vellacott, January 8, 2015 OTTAWA – In anticipation of the possible striking down of Canada’s laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide (pending the Supreme Court’s decision in the Carter case), and given the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario’s (CPSO’s) draft policy “Professional Obligations and Human Rights” [i] which, if passed, would require Ontario physicians to make referrals for controversial medical procedures regardless of their conscientious/religious convictions, Member of Parliament Maurice Vellacott today issued the following statement: I am deeply concerned about the assault on the fundamental freedoms of Ontario’s doctors should CPSO’s policy forcing doctors to make referrals for morally objectionable “treatments” pass. If the Supreme Court of Canada strikes down Canada’s current laws on euthanasia or assisted suicide, then CPSO’s policy would mean Ontario’s physicians would have a “duty to refer” patients for treatments intended to kill the patient. From the research I have conducted, with the help of the Library of Parliament, I have learned there is not a single jurisdiction in the world that forces doctors to violate their consciences through mandatory referrals for these life-ending “treatments.” (See attached list of laws in jurisdictions which have legalized euthanasia or assisted suicide.)
On Tuesday, August 5, ARPA's legal counsel sent a formal submission to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario with respect to their policy as it relates to conscience rights and the Ontario Human Rights Code. The College had requested feedback as it underwent consultations while reviewing their policy. At stake is whether doctors have the right to refuse treatment if they have conscientious objections to 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 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. As you will read in ARPA's submission (a copy is appended below), there were many legal submissions made to the College that correctly and thoroughly outlined the law as it relates to protecting doctors' conscience rights.