Collège des Médecins du Québec
Policies & statements relevant to freedom of conscience
Code of Ethics of Physicians
(R.S.Q., c. C-26, s.87) (Updated to 2022 Jun 1)
24. A physician must, where his personal convictions prevent him from
prescribing or providing professional services that may be appropriate,
acquaint his patient with such convictions; he must also advise him of the
possible consequences of not receiving such professional services.
physician must then offer to help the patient find another physician.
Legal, Ethical and Organizational Aspects of Medical Practice in Québec
7.1.2 The quality of the professional relationship (November, 2020)
Le médecin doit également informer son patient de ses convictions personnelles, de nature morale ou religieuse, qui peuvent l’empêcher de lui recommander ou de lui fournir des services professionnels qui pourraient être appropriés, et l’aviser des conséquences possibles de l’absence de tels services professionnels. Il doit alors offrir au patient de l’aider dans la recherche d’un autre médecin (art. 24).
A physician must, where his personal convictions, of a moral or religious nature, prevent him from prescribing or providing professional services that may be appropriate, acquaint his patient with such convictions; he must also advise him of the possible consequences of not receiving such professional services. He must then help the patient find another physician (art.24).
Unlike other Canadian provinces, Quebec codes of ethics for health care professionals are enacted by provincial statute. Quebec is also unique in having a provincial euthanasia law, which includes a protection of conscience provision for health care professionals specific to that service.
The Code of Ethics of Physicians and the gloss on the Code by ALDO Quebec, an authoritative document, require objecting physicians to advise patients of the consequences of not receiving the contested service, and "offer to help the patient find another physician." They are not obliged to help the patient find someone willing to provide the contested service. Previously, the Collège des Médecins du Québec required objecting physicians to connect a patient with a service provider, but that is no longer the case, probably because of the legalization of euthanasia. Objecting physicians are normally quite willing to explain how patients can find other physicians or health care professionals.
Quebec law and freedom of conscience for health care professionals