Conscience Rights

In Ontario, when it comes to euthanasia and assisted suicide, while doctors and nurses are not forced to provide a lethal injection to patients, they are required to provide a referral.

For those who object due to personal or religious convictions, ending the life of a patient or arranging for it to take place are equally offensive. These conscientious objectors need protection as is the case in many parts of the country. At present, they can be sanctioned, forcing many to leave the practice or our province.


Background

  • Euthanasia/assisted suicide was legalized in Canada in June 2016. (The federal government passed the legislation and provinces oversee local conditions.)
  • Ontario remains one of the few jurisdictions worldwide that forces a doctor or nurse to provide a referral for assisted death.
  • For health care professionals opposed to euthanasia/assisted suicide, performing the procedure or referring for it is equally problematic.
  • The Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms identifies freedom of conscience and religion as fundamental freedoms.
  • Health care professionals will never abandon patients – there are clear paths forward to balance the rights of both patients and doctors/nurses.


Take Action

In advance of the June 2018 provincial election in Ontario, please go to CanadiansforConscience.ca/ontario to write to all candidates in your riding, asking them where they stand on legislative protection for healthcare professionals' conscience rights.


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