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Friday, September 19, 2008

New Religious Policy for Ontario Doctors

The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Ontario, a regulatory body in Canada, is backing off its threat to sanction doctors who refuse to perform treatments and procedures based on religious or moral grounds. As we reported back in August, the college had released new draft guidelines that said doctors who opted out of things like prescribing birth control or the morning-after pill, performing abortions, or helping same-sex couples conceive because such treatments went against their conscience would face disciplinary action. A number of religious organizations spoke out against the proposed policy, as did the Ontario Medical Association, saying it believes "it should never be professional misconduct for an Ontario physician to act in accordance with his or her religious beliefs."
But a revised draft, released Wednesday and voted on yesterday, is watered down—and, many feel, an improvement. Doctors will no longer face misconduct charges from the college for refusing to perform treatments that go against their religious or moral beliefs. Instead, the patient who is refused treatment can seek redress by filing a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. —Heather Wax


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it just make more sense for the patient to find another physician?