May 15 2009

Randy Hillier on freedom of conscience

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Ontario PC leadership candidate Randy Hillier writes about freedom of conscience:

Last year, Ontario’s College of Physicians and Surgeons came close to implementing a policy that would have made it “unethical” for doctors to decline, as a matter of conscience, to perform controversial medical procedures on otherwise healthy patients. If adopted, the policy would have compelled doctors who consider abortion the taking of innocent life to provide such a “service” themselves or risk losing their license to practice medicine in Ontario.

Fortunately, after an outcry from the public prompted some sober second thought, the College stepped back from the policy, allowing doctors to continue exercising their conscience in the performance of their duties. In doing so, however, it also warned doctors that they could still be subject to prosecution by other quasi-judicial bodies such as Ontario’s human rights tribunals. Continue Reading »

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Sep 19 2008

Good, but not enough

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So the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario backed down from its ridiculous proposal that would see doctors punished for taking their moral and/or religious beliefs into their practice. Good, but not nearly enough, says Fr. Raymond de Souza:

Good for the OMA for not advocating some middle way between a healthy recognition of human rights and the diseased approach of the OHRC. But more aggressive confrontation of the OHRC’s overreaching is necessary. It is not enough just to prevent the cancer from spreading, which is what was achieved yesterday. It needs to be eliminated.

Professional groups such as the OMA — those representing writers and clergy, for example — have been sounding the alarm on the human rights commissions for some time now. There needs to be a corresponding sense of urgency from Canadian governments, whose statutes sustain human rights commissions. Provincial ministers of justice have been largely silent. The federal minister of justice, Robert Nicholson, a good man who surely knows better, has been disconcertingly reserved in regard to the abuses taking place on his watch. The federal government’s irresponsibly lackadaisical approach sends signals to otherwise respectable bodies, like the CPSO, that the OHRC and similar bodies are not to be challenged.

That needs to change–otherwise we shall eventually be whistling past the graveyard of Canadian liberty.

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Aug 22 2008

Calling all journalists

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To me, there’s a story behind the story here: The Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons didn’t just change their policy and decide to force doctors’ hands at a whim. Recall the Canadian Medical Association Journal guest editorial of July 2006. It was co-written by Jocelyn Downie and Sanda Rodgers. Jocelyn Downie had been appointed to advise the interim board of the CMAJ–a lawyer, she was, not a doctor, and a lawyer who advocates for decriminalizing assisted suicide and euthanasia, alongside her pro-abortion views (death all round, but let me not digress). Questions: How did she get appointed to the CMAJ interim advisory board? Why was she allowed to guest write an editorial? What are these two doing today? Do they have influence over the Ontario College?

It’s likely the same people who voted against Bill C-484 at the CMA.

There are only limited numbers of radical pro-abortion types, but they have loud voices, and lots of power, as I learned sitting in the law faculty for the Morgentaler conference in January 2008. That’s not a conspiracy theory, or some mild assertion: When you are the dean of the faculty of the country’s preeminent law school, you have a little bit of influence. (Dean Moran welcomed all of us to the Morgentaler conference, lest you have any doubt as to where her conscience lies–and she’s still allowed to use it these days).

Bottom line: Who is responsible for this Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons draft policy? Who is guiding the CMA? Hey–a little bit of investigative journalism never hurt anyone.

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Aug 20 2008

What does freedom mean?

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Speak out against the conscience-free doctor.

Two good letters in the Post today on the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons policy fiasco: Dr. Leiva and Faye Sonier of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. She writes:

Lorne Gunter says, “freedom often isn’t easy.” Former Supreme Court of Canada chief justice Brian Dickson stated: “If a person is compelled by the state or the will of another to a course of action or inaction which he would not have otherwise chosen, he is not acting of his own volition and he cannot be said to be truly free.”

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