Is mandatory vaccination ethically justifiable?

Yes — the flow-on harms are too great.


Margaret Somerville

Is mandatory vaccination ethically justifiable?

What ethical issues do mandatory interventions to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus raise — in particular, mandatory vaccination? Asked another way, what weight should be given to the arguments of “anti-vaxxers” who oppose mandatory vaccination?

I am not addressing here “involuntary vaccination” — namely, rounding up people and vaccinating them against their will, although in highly dangerous infectious disease situations, Public Health authorities can have powers to impose treatment. Rather, I am focussed on what could be described as “non-voluntary vaccination”, the person can avoid vaccination, but only by making a choice they do not want to make. . . continue reading

Ontario conscience campaign

Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience

  Dear Friend

July 2021 survey shows 85% of Ontarians are supportive of legislation to make participation in MAID (medical assistance in dying) voluntary for healthcare professionals.

We are concerned that patients, particularly vulnerable ones with disabilities, chronic illness and persons with mental health concerns, will choose or be forced into MAID because of a lack of options, social support networks or available services. In all cases, the opinion and clinical experience of the primary healthcare professional provides an important check and balance against hasty, ill-informed, or improper MAID requests.

 Please write the Ontario government today using the letter on our website to encourage them to create legislation to protect doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals so they can continue to properly care for patients. Even if you have written before – including recently – please write Ontario legislators today to let them know you want conscience legislation this fall.

Click on the button below to write your MPP.

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The Conservative Party’s stance on conscience rights and free votes should worry progressive voters


Tracey Lindeman

Ah, the freedom of conscience.

There it is, the number-one freedom in the Canadian charter: the right to move through this country in ways that don’t compromise your values or beliefs. This freedom underlies other significant parts of the charter, namely the right to bodily autonomy and equality, or sections seven and 15, respectively. 

Who would want to live in a place where we couldn’t make personal decisions about our own bodies, decisions that our own consciences support? Say you want to abort an embryo or fetus growing inside you—that’s your right. Or say you have a terminal illness or awful quality of life, and you want to die on your own terms. That’s your right, too. 

Except, in Conservative leader Erin O’Toole’s vision, in these scenarios it’s the doctors exercising their consciences, not the patients. . . continue reading

Erin O’Toole’s abortion stance serves neither physicians nor women

The Conversation

Gwyneth E. Bergman

Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole recently found himself at the centre of the abortion debate as he hit the campaign trail in advance of the federal election on Sept. 20.

The controversy arose when he stated he was pro-choice while simultaneously claiming that he supported the rights of physicians to deny abortions on the basis of conscience.

He has since stepped back from that position, claiming instead that physicians must still provide referrals even when they object to providing abortions themselves.

However, while referrals are often said to strike a reasonable balance between physician and women’s rights, it’s not clear whether that’s actually true. . . continue reading