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