Controversy over doctors’ right to say “no”

The most controversial issues relate to abortion referrals or prescribing birth control.

CMAJ September 16, 2014 186:E483-E484; published ahead of print August 18, 2014

Wendy Glauser

Religious groups, doctor’s organizations, ethicists and abortion rights advocates are raising concerns around the review of an Ontario policy that outlines, among other things, physicians’ right to object to patients’ requests for services on moral grounds.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario’s Physicians and Ontario Human Rights Code is up for its five-year review, with both public and expert opinion being sought.

On one side of the spectrum, faith groups and especially Catholic organizations are asking that the current policy  –  which allows physicians to opt out of non-emergency services they conscientiously object to  –  shouldn’t be amended.

While the policy covers any potential objection, the ones most discussed in the media have been related to abortion referrals or prescribing of birth control. [Full text]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.