Thursday, January 29, 2015

When a clear conscience is no conscience

The anti-consciencers want to make sure that Saskatchewan doctors are prevented from practicing conscientious objection. So they've come up with a draft policy to do just that.

Then, the anti-consciencers got the the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan (CPSS) to adopt in principle, this policy--a dreadful, harmful, job-losing, anti-conscience policy, that would force doctors who commit the sin of following their consciences, to "be subject to discipline by the College."

When coming up with their anti-conscience policy, the anti-consciencers decided in their wisdom (because they know better than the rest of us) that since the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) said the the anti-consciencers "were mistaken with respect to physicians’ duty to refer", well, they'd just ignore the CMA:
"We decided to proceed by way of regulatory bodies rather than the CMA for two main reasons: 1) the Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons, not the CMA, are the regulators of physicians, which means their policies have more force than CMA policies; and 2) in view of the reaction of the CMA to the editorial described earlier, we thought CMA policy reform was unlikely."
And what did they call this fine policy paper?
"Moving Forward with a Clear Conscience: A Model Conscientious Objection Policy for Canadian Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons." 
But the best part of this whole anti-conscience charade, is what the anti-consciencers said in their anti-conscience policy about--conscience:
"Among the issues we examined were the moral nature and value of conscience."
I am not kidding.

"Pro-choicers" attempt to kill conscience rights

Maurice Vellacott, MP
Saskatoon-Wanuskewin

Saskatchewan physicians to be forced
to participate in killing their patients

For Immediate Release January 29, 2015


OTTAWA – “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 policyi which it basically “cut and paste” from the Conscience Research Group’s (CRG’s) Model Policy on Conscientious Objection in Medicine.ii
Mr. Vellcott asked a series of questions that paint a disturbing picture of the process, or lack thereof, that went into CPSS’s adoption of this objectionable policy: “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 CRGiii 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.”iv
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. v
“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: http://www.cps.sk.ca/CPSS/CouncilAndCommittees/Council_Consultations_and_Surveys.aspx

30 –

For further information and comment, call (613) 992-1966 or (613) 297-2249; email: maurice.vellacott.a1@parl.gc.ca

i The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan (CPSS) is currently seeking input on a conscientious objection policy dubbed “Conscientious Refusal,” which it has adopted in principle. This policy would require physicians who object to providing certain “legally permissible and publicly-funded health services” to “make a timely referral to another health care provider who is willing and able to accept the patient and provide the service.” In cases where the patient’s “health or well-being” would be jeopardized by a delay in finding another physician, the physician would be forced to provide the service even when it “conflicts with physicians’ deeply held and considered moral or religious beliefs.” See: http://www.cps.sk.ca/Documents/Council/2015%201%2019%20Conscientious%20Objection%20policy%20approved%20in%20principle%20by%20Council.pdf

ivSaskatchewan physicians to be forced to do what they believe to be wrong,” Protection of Conscience Project news release, Jan. 27, 2015, 


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Nothing "progressive" about Canada's 27 year abortion era

27 years later. And still no legal protection for pre-born children.

Mike Schouten reminds us of what Supreme Court Justice Bertha Wilson said after the 1988 Morgentaler decision:
"A developmental view of the foetus… supports a permissive approach to abortion in the early stages of pregnancy and a restrictive approach in the later stages…The precise point in the development of the foetus at which the state’s interest in its protection becomes “compelling” I leave to the informed judgment of the legislature… It seems to me, however, that it might fall somewhere in the second trimester.”
"Justice Wilson, arguably the most iconic feminist judge in the history of our country, would be labeled an “anti-choice extremist” by the more adamant of today’s pro-choice movement. Justice Wilson was abundantly clear - abortion should not be legal throughout all the stages of fetal development as it is today. In fact, she was comfortably open to a gestational ban between 12 and 18 weeks, similar to most European countries. And as the informative morgentalerdecision.ca website points out, Wilson also stated that it should be the Legislature, not the courts, to decide at precisely which stage abortion should be restricted."
So here we are in 2015. And unborn children continue to be ripped out of their mother's wombs.

Some think this is what a civilized society does: fully funded, any time, any reason, abortion on demand. Some call this "progressive." I call it regressive. I call it shameful.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

CPSO is taking a dangerous position on conscience rights

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), wants to change how doctors are required to refer for care. Their draft policy, Professional Obligations and Human Rights states:
“Where physicians are unwilling to provide certain elements of care due to their moral or religious beliefs, an effective referral to another health care provider must be provided to the patient. An effective referral means a referral made in good faith to a non-objecting, available and accessible physician or other health-care provider. The referral must be made in a timely manner to reduce the risk of adverse clinical outcomes. Physicians must not impede access to care for existing patients, or those seeking to become patients”
Here are four reasons why CPSO shouldn't go ahead with this bad policy.

1) Freedom of conscience for doctors. It is wrong to force doctors to betray their conscience. This is not a difficult concept to understand. A civilized society does not force anyone to act against their conscience. And if a doctor is forced to refer for a procedure that is against her conscience, she is complicit in the act itself, which is the same (morally) as performing the act herself. This is wrong and against every moral definition one can think of.

2) Patient/doctor trust. If a patient knows their doctor can leave their conscience at the door when it comes to abortion, contraception or assisted suicide, how can the patient be expected to trust their doctor with their other health issues?

3) Retroactive requirements. Changing the guidelines in this way, is an unethical act towards the doctors affected. When doctors who are currently practicing, or are in medical school, first became doctors, they did so with the understanding that they would be able to conscientiously object to procedures that are against their conscience (including referring to another doctor).

This change would be a retroactive requirement of being a doctor. This is patently unfair to doctors. It means that doctors who are already in the profession or are in medical school, and chose the profession based on the current guidelines that do uphold their freedom of conscience rights, will now be expected to act according to a new and very different set of rules. Many doctors would have no choice but to leave their chosen profession in order to not be forced to be complicit in acts they find morally reprehensible.

4) Loss of livelihood to doctors. The huge investments required to become a doctor in the first place (time, money, family dependency on the doctor's livelihood, etc), would all be thrown away. Not only would these doctors who have invested large sums of money and time in becoming a doctor be forced to quit, but their entire livelihood would be at risk, and the livelihood of their families.

Dr. Marc Gabel who works for CPSO and is the chair of the college’s policy working group reviewing “Professional Obligations and Human Rights”, seems to have no problem with the harmful consequences this policy would impose on doctors:
“It may well be that you would have to think about whether you can practice family medicine as it is defined in Canada and in most of the Western countries.”

Dr. Gabel's flippant dismissal of the very real dilemma this new policy would incur for many doctors is worrisome. Forcing doctors to either refer for procedures that go against their conscience or, leave their profession altogether, is not a trivial matter.

These are all very serious considerations. CPSO and Dr. Gabel need to seriously rethink this policy because of these negative outcomes for doctors, the patients they treat, and society as a whole.

Doctors and members of the public can comment on the draft policy up to Feb. 20. Submit your comments here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mr. Harper to Ms. Wynne--two can play this game

John Ivison: That didn’t take long — Wynne shatters d├ętente with Harper during pointed speech in Ottawa

Dear Mr. Harper,

You may have heard that Premier Kathleen Wynne has a "vision of Canada". She is telling you to increase infrastructure spending to 5% from 3.5 of GDP. That's a whopping $30 billion year gap.

If Ms. Wynne would like to tell you how to do your job, I suggest you tell her how to do hers.

Have you heard about the Ontario Liberals hidden agenda to hide abortion statistics in Ontario? Well actually, that's not quite right. It isn't a hidden agenda anymore, it's more like a reality TV show: you have to see it to believe it. All abortion related information is now excluded from the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (FIPPA). I am not kidding.

This means that any and all such information is now top secret in Ontario.

You know like, how many women die from abortion, what are the complication rates from abortion, how many dollars the Liberals spend on abortion, etc.? All secret.

Not what I'd call a best practice for a democracy.

So. Why don't you stick your nose into Ms. Wynne's business, just like she's stuck her nose into your business? Why don't you tell her to repeal her, sneaky, anti-democratic, hidden-agenda, sorry excuse for a law, so that democracy can be restored to Ontario.

After all. Fair is fair.

Sincerely,
Patricia Maloney