Conscience protection for physicians

 

This video features Dr. Jodie Wang testifying in support of conscience rights for physicians before the Committee on Bill 84 in Ontario. Bill 84 will amend provincial laws so that they are in conformity with federal law on euthanasia and assisted suicide. Bill 84, an Act to amend various Acts with respect to medical assistance in dying, contains no conscience protection for healthcare workers.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario requires that objecting physicians make an “effective referral” to another willing and accessible physician. In short, physicians who do not wish to be involved in killing patients are being asked to send their patients to someone else willing to do so.

Dr. Phillipe Violette appearing before the committee said that “Coercion can only result in a mono-culture of doctors with the same ideologies and many physicians discriminated against and forced to leave the practice of medicine.”

Dr. Rachel Forman of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) said: “The OMA believes that it is possible to reconcile patient access with physician rights, and we urge you to fill this regulatory gap by introducing an amendment in support of conscientious objection.”

Barb LeBlanc of the OMA in reply to a question concerning an amendment to Bill 84 replied: “To acknowledge that conscientious objection should be recognized and respected, and that it should supersede any regulatory college requirement.”

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