Check ethics at the door

Check ethics at the door Re: Doctors’ Beliefs Must Not Impede Care: Ontario College, March 7. Published in National Post.

Something precious was lost when Ontario’s College of Physicians and Surgeons voted to strip doctors of their universally recognized right not to participate in an action that violates a properly formed conscience.

Its arrogance was nicely captured in the quote from past president Dr. Marc Gabel, who told the college counsel, “You cannot kick someone out of your office without care” — a slanderous mischaracterization of physicians who wish to bow out of the referral process for abortion and doctor-assisted killing. The vote took place the same day the Canadian Medical Association reportedly defended a physician’s right not to be forced to refer against his/her moral beliefs.

The Ontario and American medical associations, are opposed; members of the profession and public have registered protests on the college’s website. Most damning, the college did not present a shred of evidence of any lack of access to care requiring it to bulldoze members’ conscience rights. In effect, the professional body charged with ensuring doctors are ethical has told them to check their ethics at the office door.

Dr. Paul Ranalli, Toronto.

Advisor, The deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research