In Canada, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) has approved a new policy that requires doctors to refer for abortions even if they oppose abortion on moral and religious grounds. In fact, doctors who refuse to comply with the new policy could face disciplinary action by their regulating body.
According to the Cambridge Times, the measure protects patients’ right to access care and at the same time ensures that doctors meet their legal obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code. The president of the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Carol Leet, said that physicians who do not comply with the new policy could face repercussions ranging from a requirement to upgrade their education to revocation of their medical licenses, depending on the seriousness of the situation. She said, “There have been some complaints about access to care.”
Leet said that the old policy stipulated that physicians did not have to provide services that conflicted with their personal values and beliefs, but it was non-specific about whether they should make referrals to other doctors.
Currently, 16,000 people have opposed the new policy but that hasn’t changed the CPSO’s decision.
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