“The assault on freedom of conscience that is spreading across our country ought to be of grave concern to every freedom-loving Canadian,” MP Maurice Vellacott said upon learning of yet another province (this time his own) that plans to force physicians to participate in morally objectionable procedures, including those that kill.
“No health care worker should be forced against their will to take part in the killing of another human being. It would be a grotesque violation of their human dignity.”
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan (CPSS) has adopted in principle a policy which it basically “cut and paste” from the Conscience Research Group’s (CRG’s) Model Policy on Conscientious Objection in Medicine.
“Was the CPSS aware that the drafters of the Model Policy, notably Professor Jocelyn Downie of Dalhousie University, are abortion and euthanasia activists? Did the CPSS solicit input from anyone other than Professor Downie and her team at the CRG[i] before adopting this policy? Did the Saskatchewan College let on to anyone else that it was even considering this issue? Is the CPSS aware that this policy was rejected by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA)?”
Mr. Vellacott explained: “Professor Downie and co-author Sanda Rodgers, in a 2006 guest editorial in the CMA Journal, ignited a firestorm of controversy when they falsely claimed that CMA policy requires physicians to make abortion referrals regardless of their conscientious/religious beliefs. As Sean Murphy, Administrator of the Protection of Conscience Project, points out in his recent news release, that claim was repudiated by the CMA and vehemently rejected by physicians. And partly as a result of that negative response, Professor Downie turned her attention to the regulatory Colleges to try to convince them to impose mandatory referral.”
Earlier this month, Mr. Vellacott spoke out against a similar draft policy of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO). At that time, he expressed concerns that if the Supreme Court of Canada strikes down Canada’s current ban on euthanasia or assisted suicide, then CPSO’s policy would mean Ontario’s physicians would have a ‘duty to refer’ patients for these life-ending procedures. He stressed that no other jurisdiction that currently allows euthanasia or assisted suicide imposes such an obligation.
While the CPSO policy is not identical to the CPSS/CRG Model Policy, in principle it is the same—a coercive attempt to involve physicians in the killing of some of the most vulnerable members of our human family,” Mr. Vellacott said. “The sheer fact that these Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons feel that a coercive policy of referral for these controversial procedures is necessary, is itself testament to the fact that there is something inherently problematic about these procedures in the first place. If they were procedures just like any other medical procedure, there’d be no need to coerce physicians into sacrificing a fundamental part of who they are—their very consciences—in order to provide them.”
“No good can come from forcing a doctor to practice medicine in a way they find morally reprehensible. Killing the consciences of our medical doctors will cause inestimable harm to the people of Canada and society as a whole.”
“One cannot help but wonder, what is the real motivation of those pushing us down this dangerous path? And will we have the courage and wisdom and foresight to stop it?”
For information on providing input to CPSS on its draft policy, visit: www.cps.sk.ca.
LifeNews Note: Maurice Vellacott is a member of the Canadian House of Commons, representing Saskatoon-Wanuskewin.