Thank you to all those who have joined the coalition in recent months, writing to our elected officials to express our deep concerns about Bill C-14 and the protection of conscience rights.
The reality is that Bill C-14 has passed and is now the law in our country. While we oppose any form of assisted suicide, we acknowledge that some wording to protect conscience rights is present in both the preamble and text of the bill indicating that no one should be compelled to participate in physician-assisted suicide. We believe this is, in large part, due to the efforts of so many who expressed concerns about protecting our health care workers and institutions.
However, our coalition is deeply troubled that this directive in Bill C-14 is already being ignored and that doctors who oppose assisted suicide over conscience concerns will be required to help take the lives of patients in Ontario.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) passed a policy called Professional Obligations and Human Rights that requires 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.
No other foreign jurisdiction that has legalized assisted suicide requires doctors to perform or refer for this procedure. Other provinces have already implemented guidelines to protect doctors who object to providing or referring for assisted suicide.
Currently, doctors who object to performing or arranging referrals for physician-assisted suicide, due to their conscience and moral convictions, are subject to professional discipline.
We need your help to protect Ontario doctors and their conscience rights. Send a message to the Ontario Government:
First, use the tool on the left to find the name of your local MPP by postal code. Then select them from the drop-down on the email form to the right. Hint: If you type the first letter of their first name while you have the box selected, it will skip to that part of the list.
Your letter will be sent to your MPP, and CC'd to the Honorable Eric Hoskins, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO)