“This is a set-back for every Canadian who wants her or his conscience to be respected by government authority,” -John Carpay, lawyer and president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms
Lianne Laurence : May 16, 2019 LifeSiteNews.com
(Toronto)— [LifeSiteNews.com] An Ontario appeal court struck a blow against religious freedom today, ruling that the right of doctors to conscientiously object to participating in abortion and euthanasia is trumped by their patient’s right to equitable access to health care. (Image: Pixabay)
In a unanimous decision released Wednesday, the appeal judges upheld a divisional court’s January 2018 ruling that quashed a Charter challenge by Christian doctors to a College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSO) policy.
The CPSO policy requires doctors who object to abortion, euthanasia, and other morally objectionable “medical services” to give patients seeking these services an “effective referral” that is, to an accessible colleague willing to do the act.
The policy also requires that objecting doctors perform such “medical services” in unspecified emergency situations.
The 74-page appeal court decision, written by Ontario Chief Justice George Strathy, with Justices Sarah Pepall and J. Michal Fairburn concurring, agreed with the divisional court and dismissed the appeal.
The divisional court ruled the CPSO policy did violate the doctors’ Charter rights, but that the infringement was reasonable given the “pressing and substantial” governmental objective of ensuring patients’ “right to equitable access to health care.”
There is “compelling evidence” that “vulnerable patients” seeking euthanasia, abortion, “contraception and other aspects of sexual health care” will “suffer harm” if their family doctors refuse them an effective referral, Strathy wrote in the judgment…
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