TOP ONTARIO COURT: DOCTORS MUST GIVE REFERRALS FOR SERVICES THEY OPPOSE

May 15, 2019

By Bob Komsic

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Doctors must give referrals for services that go against their moral or religious beliefs, such as assisted-dying and abortion.
That’s the gist of a unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the Ontario Court of Appeal, which dismissed an appeal seeking to overturn a lower court decision that upholds the referral requirement, that’s part of a policy issued by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
Last year, divisional court ruled while the policy infringes on doctors’ religious freedom, it’s justified to ensure access to care.
The court said doctors can always ask staff to provide a referral or choose to specialize in a type of medicine where these issues are less frequent.
The province’s medical regulator calls the ruling a ”victory for patients”.
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