POWELL RIVER, British Columbia, April 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The 2019 decision of the Ontario Court of Appeals supporting the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons was not the last word on the issue of freedom of conscience. of doctors. That message was delivered to the College by the Conscience Protection Project in a submission respond to the College’s request for public comment on its policy, Professional Obligations and Human Rights (POHR).
The presentation includes a warning note on the possible implications of human rights laws for professionals who provide euthanasia and assisted suicide. However, the main focus is on the university’s demand that physicians who are unwilling to provide a service or procedure for reasons of conscience provide an “effective referral”: that is, connect the patient directly with someone willing to do so. do what they consider immoral / unethical.
Professionals who oppose the provision of a service often provide information and work cooperatively with patients and others regarding patient access to services. While they are willing to respectfully cooperate, they are not willing to cooperate by doing something that makes them part of what they consider to be illegal and / or harmful. The distinctions between providing information versus providing a service and between cooperation and collaboration allow for an approach that is tailored to both patients and professionals, the project argues.
However, the university is clearly confused about such critical distinctions. Citing the policy and reasoning of the university, the presentation state, “The College’s assertion that effective referral for euthanasia / assisted suicide does not ‘indicate’ endorsement or support for the procedures [Advice:MAiD] it is either false or the product of a very confusing illusion. “
“The school does not even apply correctly their own definition of effective referral in their supplemental policy document, ”notes Sean Murphy, Project Manager.
According to the College, physicians unwilling to abide by its effective referral policy should restrict their practices to specialties such as hair restoration. This would force all objectionable physicians to abandon general practice.
“To put it in relevant perspective today,” says Murphy, “the College would ask them to end all Covid 19 pandemic activities and pursue podiatry or aviation medicine. This is not consistent with ensuring access to health care or protecting the public interest. “
The Project recommends that the College adopt a unique conscience protection policy in line with “the basic theory” of the Canadian Bill of Rights affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada and consistent with rational moral pluralism. The presentation includes such General policy, based on policy documents from the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Nurses Association, the Catholic Health Association of Canada, and the Canadian Medical Protection Association.
The Protection of Consciousness Project has also made a submission on the university’s policy on euthanasia and assisted suicide, Medical Assistance for Dying. Public inquiries about Professional obligations and human rights [Consultation Page] other Medical assistance when dying [Consultation Page] They are open until May 14, 2021.
1. Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada c. Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons, 2019 ONCA 393 (CanLII) at paragraph 184.
Contact: Sean Murphy,
Administrator, Conscience Protection Project