Ontario court to rule on whether doctors must give referrals for services they oppose Social Sharing
2019-05-15 from cbc.ca
Doctors in Ontario are obligated to give referrals for medical services that clash with their moral or religious beliefs, the province's highest court has ruled.
In a 74-page ruling released Wednesday shortly after 10:30 a.m. ET, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal for Ontario sided with an earlier divisional court decision that upheld the referral requirement.
The requirement is part of a policy issued by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to address issues surrounding, among other things, assisted dying and abortion and other services to which a physician may object to "on the basis of religion or conscience."
Last year, the divisional court found that while the policy does infringe on doctors' religious freedom, the benefits to the public outweigh the cost to physicians.
The court said doctors can ask their staff to provide a referral to another doctor who can provide the service, or choose to specialize in a type of medicine where these issues are less frequent.
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