Doctors seek protection from policy requiring them to make referral
A number of local healthcare practitioners fear their right to choose whether or not they participate in providing assisted suicide to patients is being taken away from them.
Assisted suicide became legal in Canada in June 2016.
The Canadian law to allow medical assistance in dying (MAID) followed a Supreme Court of Canada ruling that struck down the law forbidding physician assisted dying, saying the old law violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The federal law, however, makes no indication that healthcare professionals would have to participate in MAID.
But, a College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario policy requires practitioners who conscientiously object to MAID to provide an effective referral to a non-objecting, available and accessible physician, nurse practitioner or agency. . . [Full text]