Canadians shouldn’t have to compromise their conscience


As a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Carter v. Canada case, the federal government passed Bill C-14 on June 17, 2016. C-14 legalized physician-assisted suicide.

While we are heartened that C-14 did include some protections, unfortunately these protections alone are not enough. C-14 also leaves major regulations concerning conscientious objections to provincial governments.

In certain provinces, such as Ontario, professional bodies like the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario have passed policies requiring physicians to refer for, and in some cases perform, procedures even if these procedures go against their conscience. Doctors with conscience objections consider referral, even to a third party, to be a type of participation.

Forcing these healthcare providers to act in this way would be trampling on their constitutional right to freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed under the Charter (Section 2).

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Doctors from Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience Doctors and other healthcare workers are in an impossible position thanks to C-14. Many are now working in jurisdictions where they are forced to refer for, or participate in, assisted suicide.

They shared why they’re opposed to the current Medical Aide in Dying regulations that don’t respect their conscientious objections.