Protection of Conscience Project
When the Markham-Stoufville Hospital in Ontario tried to force health care workers to assist in abortion, eight nurses stood their ground. One of them died during the five years it took for the case to reach a human rights tribunal. The hospital settled the case on the eve of the hearing, agreeing to financial compensation and a policy statement protecting rights of conscience.
For vindication of freedom of conscience, five years is too long too wait, thousands of dollars in legal fees too much to pay. It is past time to put an end to coercive conduct by employers, educational authorities and others who demand freedom of choice except for those who don’t share their moral outlook.
The Protection of Conscience Project supports authentic freedom of conscientious choice for everyone. It is a non-denominational, non-profit group of individuals consisting of a project team and advisory board, operating a website at http://www.consciencelaws.org.
- advocates for protection of conscience legislation;
- provides information on protection of conscience legislation worldwide;
- promotes clarification and understanding of the issues involved to assist in reasoned public discussion;
- acts as a clearing house for reports from people who have been discriminated against for reasons of conscience.
The Markham-Stoufville case concerned abortion. What about euthanasia, physician assisted suicide, and demands for access to reproductive technologies?
“Without proper legislation,” warned Maurice Vellacott, M.P., speaking to the issue in the House of Commons, ” there may come a day where no physician feels free from coercion to violate his or her conscience.”