Forced Referral and Freedom of Religion vs Freedom of Conscience

Without freedom of conscience our free democracy would not exist

The Epoch Times

Shawn Whatley, MD*

A recent court decision in Ontario missed the mark when it ignored the impact forced referral has on freedom of conscience.

On May 15, the Ontario appeals court ruled that doctors must give patients a referral for euthanasia, abortion, and other contentious issues, regardless of what an individual doctor thinks about them.

The court battle started after the medical regulator in Ontario, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), created a policy that forced doctors to refer for procedures, regardless of doctors’ deeply held convictions of religion or conscience. Doctors who refuse would risk being fined and/or losing their license to practice medicine. . . [Full text]

Physician-assisted suicide is a non-issue for most MDs

Dr. Shawn Whatley

For most doctors, physician-assisted suicide will not change almost anything in day-to-day practice. It will happen away from the mainstream of care, available but not obvious. Doctors will want reassurance that neither patients nor caregivers get coerced but beyond that, most physicians will not get passionate either way.

Doctors usually avoid social activism. As a group, they support social movements but rarely create movements of their own.

Doctors agree on one moral absolute: Thou shalt not express a moral opinion about the behaviours, beliefs or decisions of thy patient. Everyone is a potential patient. Ergo, doctors should not express opinions about anyone’s choice. Society expects this—demands this—of its doctors. Modern medical trainees learn objectivity before all else. . . [Full Text]