Medicine, Religious Privilege to Refuse to Work

Christian Doctors on Right to Refuse Care

CBC is reporting that religious doctors want to refuse care: [Link contains news article and video.]

Christian medical professionals are challenging Ontario’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in court over a policy that requires doctors to provide or at least refer medical services, even when they clash with personal values.

Patients should be able to easily access their medical needs, and not be given the run around. You should not find out after you have selected a doctor or after you have made the appointment that your doctor will neither aid you, or refer you to someone who can assist you.

I might have more sympathy for the position of religious doctors who don’t want to provide complete patient care if not for the fact that we have a shortage of doctors in Canada. Because of the doctor brain drain of the 90s it is hard to get a doctor. Because of this doctors are put in a hard position.

However, doctors are routinely told to defer to their patients opinions on medical procedures, rather than the model of a century ago when doctors didn’t work with patients but merely decreed everything on their own. The patient-centred model means that sometimes patients will make the wrong choice. A logical extension of this is the patient making a choice against the doctor’s religion. It is frankly none of the doctors business, and the doctors role is to help the patient achieve their goals as quickly as possible, either by writing¬†a prescription for birth control or referring for other services. Continue reading


Ontario: Religious Grounds for Vaccine Refusal

Ontario provides religious grounds fore vaccine refusal. This is odd, as I don’t recall any sacred book talking about vaccination:

Ontario only allows parents to opt out of mandatory measles vaccination for their children in very limited circumstances, Health Minister Eric Hoskins says.

Reacting to confirmation of four cases of measles in Toronto, Hoskins said Monday that it’s important for the majority of Ontarians to be vaccinated against the disease.

“It’s very contagious,” he added. “It can be dangerous, as well. It has side effects including blindness, for example, in a very small proportion of people who get it.”

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