Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Is Canada Post on the chopping block? | Main | Question: How do you know it's a bad day for the CCP? »

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Doctors and their Personal Beliefs

Lorne Gunter has (as usual) a well-thought out column about some recent proposals in Ontario to force doctors to provide certain treatments regardless of their religious beliefs.  Lest you think that the insanity is strictly Canadian, just yesterday in California (where else), its Supreme Court ruled that doctors are required to provide all treatments regardless of their beliefs.

Posted by Moin A Yahya on August 19, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Doctors and their Personal Beliefs:


Regardless of their beliefs?
Seems part and parcel with the state's war on culture, family and personal identity. We shall all conform to the state as though it were almighty God.(however you percieve him)

Posted by: JC | 2008-08-19 6:50:22 AM

This is absolutely OUTRAGEOUS. How can it possibly stand?

All Canadians who value our God-given right to freedom of religion and expression must vigorously oppose these Draconian measures attacking the individual freedoms of our medical professionals.

It's breathtaking to see the brazenness of this attack on Canadians' fundamental freedoms at, seemingly, the stroke of a pen--or the click of a mouse.

And to send out the e-mail in summer and give medical professionals only a day or two to respond? Who ARE these people? Who's behind this jackboot policy? Can it withstand a Charter challenge? But why should doctors and nurses even have to think of taking a Charter challenge?

God help us. It's time for Canadians to get on their knees and humbly ask God's forgiveness for having foresaken our spiritual heritage.

This kind of policy is precisely the logical consequence of a Godless country, where the powers that be consider themselves to be gods. Let's put God back in His proper place, which will then relegate these little gods to their proper places: serving in their capacity as healers, not subjugating their colleagues whose views don't line up with theirs.

This proposed policy is MONSTROUS.

Posted by: batb | 2008-08-19 7:13:13 AM

Even the Charter with it's stated rights makes some more equal than others. CHRC's are compounding the problem and skirting this democracy ever closer to a dictatorial state.

Pretty serious when the medical profession can't even abide it's own Hippocratic oath without state interference.

McGuinty's Ontario is fast becoming a lost cause and the guy has his sights on leading the federal Liberals. God help us all.

Posted by: Liz J | 2008-08-19 7:53:51 AM

Religion is a red herring to the question. It is not simply that religious belief should or should not be an acceptable basis for refusing to treat someone. The real question should be whether service is denied as a result of prejudice, whether that prejudice is religious based or not.

A doctor should not be allowed to only treat white patients because he hates non-whites and be allowed to keep his license. It does not matter if his hatred of non-whites is rooted in a religious conviction or not. A doctor should not be allowed to only treat heterosexual patients because he is opposed to homosexuality and be allowed to keep his license. So in Gunter's example of a fertility doctor who will help heterosexual patients conceive but not homosexual patients, the doctor should help both or lose his license. Discrimination in the provision of a service is and ought to remain prohibited.

The case is different with abortion. A doctor who is morally opposed to abortion might be opposed for religious reasons or he might be morally opposed for non-religious ones. So long as abortion remains legal in Canada after the first half of pregnancy, there will be atheists who have a moral objection to abortion where the mother's life is not in danger. So the issue is not fundamentally a religious one. It also is not obviously a case of discrimination. Refusal to help with abortion is not to single out patients based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, or even sex. (It is not because mothers are all women that some doctors might want to refuse to help.)

So if religion is being used as a front for bigotry (as it is in the case of refusal of service to homosexual patients) then doctors must either provide service or get a new job. If the refusal is not a front for bigotry, then it does not matter if the refusal is religiously based or not in deciding it's merits. Here the question is more complex, but where a doctor is being asked to help kill what they sincerely believe to be a person, then some room for reasonable accommodation seems warranted.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-08-19 8:41:13 AM

Helping homosexuals conceive sounds a bit more in the realm of interfering with the laws of nature and morality. Two people of the same sex cannot reproduce, nature set it up that way.

For many, if not most people, renting wombs and donating sperm for those who cannot conceive whether heterosexual is leading down a degenerative path.
In these cases the medical profession has every right to exercise their moral judgment because it's not a case of saving as life or not treating an illness. It's closer to treating an out of control agenda.

Posted by: Liz J | 2008-08-19 9:04:14 AM


You are a bigot. Fortunately, people of your ilk are being more and more socially and politically marginalized. Enjoy the ride down that "degenerative path", becauser it is the irreversable one we are on. Or maybe you could join Fred Phelps. Whatever.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-08-19 9:42:19 AM

"Freedom of conscience and religion" is a right under the Charter. But, these are only words in today's Canada. The doctor's are the next group targeted in the agenda of the powerful unelected CHRCs. The politicians created these so-called "human rights commissions" at the behest of a powerful special interest group. Now we are all being dictated to by non-elected commissars. The totalitarian monsters have been loosed on society, and I believe it will get even worse before it gets better, if at all. Perhaps the spark of human decency will come alive in Canada once again and consign this evil dictatorship masquerading as "rights" to the garbage can where it belongs.

Posted by: Stephen J. Gray | 2008-08-19 9:53:59 AM

Fact Check: "Liz, you are a bigot."


You're the bigot, Fact Check.

Religion is central to this situation, as the jackboots of the state are targeting medical professionals with religious/moral convictions and telling them they are disallowed, not permitted to make medical decisions according to their consciences.

This is way past political lib-left-fem-gay partisanship, it's evil. It's wrong. It's unconscionable. It's approaching the Nazi's Mengele tactics.

It cannot stand. If it does, what's the point in having a so-called Charter of Rights and Freedoms? If Canadians' rights to freedom of religion and freedom of expression mean nothing, then we might as well pack it in and rename ourselves The People's [sic] Republic of Canukistan.

Fact Check, you just don't get it. A gay couple has any number of doctors to choose from who will help them conceive a child (sic and sick--that doesn't make me a bigot, that's my OPINION which, last time I looked, I was free in Canada to express). No doctor should be forced to treat a patient who is asking for a treatment which goes against his/her conscience.

Demanding that any doctor have to do something contrary to their conscience is totalitarianism. It's not democratic.

Posted by: batb | 2008-08-19 10:11:05 AM


"that's my OPINION which, last time I looked, I was free in Canada to express"

No one questioned your right to express your bigotry. I certainly agree that bigots are people too, and they have the right to express their hatreds.

"that doesn't make me a bigot, that's my OPINION..."

Calling something your opionion (or even your OPINION) does not mean that it is not proof that you are a bigot. Believeing that all Jews are evil, in a conspiracy to control the world's financial industries and that we would all be better off if all Jews were dead can also be an opinion (and an OPINION too). Believing that black people are morally inferior to white people is also an opinion, but it is the opinion of bigots only. Your opinion (OPINION!!!) that same-sex couples becoming parents is "sick" is an opinion, and one that clearly identifies you as on the Phelpsian fringe of society. Bitch all you want (as you do have the right to do that), but that will be as far as you get on this one.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-08-19 10:38:47 AM

Fact Check's logic holds (other than the insults)as long as you concede that the state owns Canadians as chattel as a logical consequence of socialized medicine. No one likes the state to discriminate, so by extension, the Doctors, as civil servants with billing numbers must obey their employers. The natural right to discriminate is not PC. I would support the right of doctors to refuse service to anyone for any reason (as immoral or as irrational as it seems) if there were a free market in Canadian health care.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2008-08-19 10:45:39 AM

John, you are right on the money on this issue.

Posted by: TM | 2008-08-19 11:05:44 AM

Where are the politicians on this affront to personal freedom of conscience? What about the human rights of doctors?

An Award for Upholding Human Rights in Canada
By Stephen J. Gray

“Prime Minister Stephen Harper today became the first Canadian to receive the B’nai Brith International President’s Gold Medallion, in recognition of the Government’s efforts to fight discrimination and uphold human rights in Canada and around the world” (PMO-CPM Release June 27, 2008: http://pm.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?id=2173)

I must say that this award sounds very good until one thinks about the words regarding upholding “human rights in Canada.” P. M. Harper’s government is an intervenor, along with B'nai Brith Canada and the Canadian Human Rights Commission, against free speech in Canada. Here is more information on that:

“The Attorney General of Canada, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and B'nai Brith Canada will be intervening in the Lemire case in support of Section 13, arguing that it is a reasonable restriction on freedom of speech” (Canadian Constitution Foundation letter, April 28, 2008).

The words “reasonable restriction on freedom of speech” have become a weapon to punish decent, law-abiding Canadians for daring to have an opinion in a so-called “free society.”

Decent Canadians who have been harassed, vilified, tormented and denounced by these unelected and appointed so-called “Human Rights Commissions” (HRCs) are as follows: Chris Kempling, Scott Brockie, Knights of Columbus, Stephen Boissoin, Bishop Henry, Ezra Levant, and others. Now Catholic Insight magazine, the Christian Heritage Party and MacLean’s magazine are under the guns of the HRCs.
And the government of “Gold Medallion” award-winning Mr. Harper as well as B'nai Brith Canada are “…in support of Section 13, arguing that it is a reasonable restriction on freedom of speech.”

The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) in its letter of April 28, 2008, had this to say about its own potential intervenor status in Lemire: “By intervening in support of the application put forward by Marc Lemire, the CCF would not be endorsing the content of his message, but supporting the rights of all Canadians to say and write whatever they believe, without fear of violating a law such as Section 13, of the Canadian Human Rights Act.” Amen to that!

As Voltaire said, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Unfortunately Voltaire’s words do not apply to Canada. Voicing an opinion or writing letters to a newspaper, cracking jokes or printing cartoons can get a person dragged before the Human Rights Commissars of Canada. Their accusers get a free ride and the accused have to pay for lawyers for their own defense. Does this not sound like a dictatorship?

Meanwhile P.M. Harper is quoted as saying this: “What took place Friday in Zimbabwe’s run-off election was ‘an ugly perversion of democracy,’ Harper said” (CBC News, June 27, 2008).

Well said, Mr. Harper; but, unfortunately we have an “an ugly perversion of democracy,” here in Canada, and you and your government are siding with the undemocratic human rights commissars. Still, at least you are getting an award for upholding “human rights in Canada.” But, I believe, some thinking people in Canada will believe this award rings hollow when your government and B'nai Brith Canada are “…in support of Section 13, arguing that it is a reasonable restriction on freedom of speech.”

Stephen J. Gray
June 28, 2008
[email protected]
website: http://www.geocities.com/graysinfo

Posted by: Stephen J. Gray | 2008-08-19 11:05:51 AM

Good description JC. And as for FC calling people bigots, he has to be one of the biggest bigots. Bigoted against people with a moral compass whether they are religious or not. As always trying to muddy the waters by comparing apples to oranges. The fact is that no woman would be denied the "right" to kill the baby she carries, since there are plenty of places she can go for that to be done in our great country.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-08-19 11:23:23 AM

Fact Check, you don't know the meaning of the word "bigot". It appears anyone with an opinion other than your own, in your mind, is a bigot.

Frankly someone with your rationale calling me a bigot is a complement.


Posted by: Liz J | 2008-08-19 11:47:44 AM

I think bigotry can be given a neutral definition... odds are, we're all bigots about something.

"prejudice and/or discrimination against one or all members of a particular group based on negative perceptions of their beliefs and practices or on negative group stereotypes." That's the ADL's definition.

I suppose, then, I'm an anti-evil bigot, just like John McCain. Evil people really bug me.

DEFEAT IT *snarl*



Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-08-19 3:13:37 PM

Didn't most Doctors swear to a hypocratic oath to treat everyone as equals? If we start turning people away because of money or religious issues, call me crazy, it just doesn't seem right.

Posted by: glen | 2008-08-19 3:25:53 PM


I think what you want to say is best put this way: Everyone's a little bit racist.

( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbwNSNLPIfw )

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-08-19 3:59:18 PM

It shouldn't be to hard to solve this. Personal beliefs should be part of the package, just like skill level and specialized training.

Some doctors don't perform surgery or treat children. Some specialize in infectious diseases.

Personal beliefs are not hard to sort out. Some doctors refuse to treat smokers or Jews. Some don't perform abortions.

As long as they make it perfectly clear up front, there should be no misunderstanding.

Posted by: dp | 2008-08-19 4:27:06 PM

Some doctors refuse to treat Jews? If that can be proven in this country those doctors do not belong here and should be deported. I say deported because no true Canadian doctor would refuse to treat anyone on the basis of ethnicity. For that to happen we'd be dealing with someone who has brought racial hatreds to this country.

Posted by: Liz J | 2008-08-19 4:50:34 PM

Gee, Glen, where do you get your information? The Hippocratic Oath goes like this:


I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepios and Hygeia and Panacea and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:

To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art - if they desire to learn it -without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but no one else.

I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.

I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.

I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work.

Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.

What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself, holding such things shameful to be spoken about.

If I fulfill this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot.

[end quote]

Please note:

* "...that I will fulfill according to my ability AND JUDGMENT [my emphasis] this oath and this covenant."

No doctor is expected to march lock-step with the state in making decisions about individual patients. They use their judgment.

* "I will keep them from harm and injustice." Remember, this is according to the doctor's judgment, not the judgment of the state.

* "I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art."

This is pretty clear, is it not? Why would we ask doctors who find abortion and euthanasia abhorrent to perform either when there, sadly, are plenty of doctors completely unaffected by--and, in fact, champions of--these practices.

No patient in Canada today will be deprived of whatever "medical" treatment (that's using the term medical lightly) they desire, even if it will prove to be harmful to them five minutes later or later in life. There are doctors everywhere who have no scruples about performing any procedure, whatever the short- or long-term effects.

Nowhere, Glen, in the Hippocratic Oath do I see the promise or commitment "to treat everyone as equals." You've lived in Canada too long.

On the other hand, I see a commitment on the part of doctors to use their personal judgment to make decisions for their patients and to never harm their patients.

Just because our perverted society says that harm is good and good is harmful, doctors should not be asked to ignore their consciences in the treatment of their patients. It is a perversion of democratic freedoms and a totalitarian tactic to enable the state to control all areas of our lives.

The state was supposed, according to Pierre Elliott Trudeau, to have no place in the bedrooms of the nations. Even less does it have a place in the consciences of doctors and their practice of medicine.

For the "pro-choice" among us: Patients in Canada have a choice when looking for a doctor to perform a procedure they have decided upon. Likewise, doctors should have a choice concerning which procedures they are willing to perform.

That, Glen, seems to be the equality you were alluding to.

Posted by: batb | 2008-08-19 4:50:35 PM

"Fact Check's logic holds (other than the insults) as long as you concede that the state owns Canadians as chattel"

Well put John. I will never concede that I am property of the state though. I teach my kids, my friends and anyone who will listen that the law works that way and that it is immoral.

I am not a serf and neither are any of you.

And Fact Check, I don't think everyone is a little bit racist.
I think everyone is a little bit "Pre-Judiced."

It comes from living life and we can't avoid it.

But we can live civilly in spite of it.

Posted by: JC | 2008-08-19 4:51:39 PM


Agreed -- everyone has a little bit of prejudice. Of course, when you're an "intellectual" you get to claim that your prejudices are self-evident first principles, or starting assumptions, or something like that.

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-08-19 5:02:58 PM

batb: thanks for researching that for me. I stand corrected.

Posted by: glen | 2008-08-19 5:42:14 PM

This discussion is all over the map. For me it comes down to this:

If your religious convictions stand in the way or your doing a job, choose another job.

For example: in the UK, some Muslim women studying medicine wanted an exemption from scrubbing because they would have to bare their arms. My response? Find a different profession.

Ditto with pharmacists who don't want to dispense contraceptive devices or pills; civil registrars who don't want to register same-sex partnerships (I do draw the line, however, at forcing priests, for example, to perform same-sex marriages, and can defend the distinction here if requested to); and doctors who won't at least do referrals in the case of abortion. (I'm not sure that I would want people opposed to performing certain operations to be forced to perform said operations on me--e.g., a vasectomy...Ouch!!)

One is not forced to become a doctor, pharmacist or civil servant. There are responsibilities that go with those jobs, in fact bona fide job requirements. If your conscience says no, choose something else.

PS: Cleanup in Aisle 5 (5:37:03 PM)

Posted by: Dr.Dawg | 2008-08-19 6:36:21 PM

Ok, comments about "official Jewry" have no place on the Shotgun.


I agree with you (more or less.) Still don't mind calling myself an anti-evil bigot, though. Thanks for your assistance on the cleanup.



Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-08-19 6:52:53 PM

As usual, Fact Check, you’re on the side of the humanocrats. I remind you that religious beliefs enjoy Charter protection and, if you think about it, secular humanism is just another religion, with its own sacred cows, priests and priestesses, and a thirst for sacrifice to prove one’s worthiness to stand among the flock. It’s not recognized as such, of course, so the fact of the matter is that it does not even have Charter protection, unlike bona fide religions. And let’s be frank—there are plenty of secular bigots. Just look at the HRC.

If a belief is part of a longstanding religious tradition, that’s a bit different than a state ideology, such as Nazism, Fascism, Communism, or secularism. Moreover, your example of a doctor treating only white patients is itself a red herring, and a most cynical one, since no religion I know of suggests doctors should refuse treatment based on race. I know it and you knew it, yet you said it anyway because you wanted to make a point and get in a shot at organized religion at the same time, the truth be damned. Are you to accuse Jews of sacrificing and eating children next? Given the resurgence of anti-Semitism among the secular elite in the West, it’s not much of a stretch.

A doctor’s role is to do no harm. That has remained a staple of Western medicine for nearly 3,000 years. Doing harm includes Hoovering out unborn babies, terminating inconvenient elderly, or assisting in suicides. But it doesn’t include helping couples conceive. And this entire affair would have a lot more credibility if it was actually able to produce actual cases of such discrimination against gay couples, rather than theoretical ones. Freedoms are only to be curtailed in the face of genuine threats, not imaginary ones.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-08-19 7:23:51 PM

Stephen Grays comment was excellent.:}

the harpacrats have fallen into the buro-liberal dark side, for the sake of their precious majority guv. c-suckers.

Posted by: reg dunlop | 2008-08-19 7:24:02 PM


Aren't people who talk about "official Jewry" just people with an opinion? You know, people who also are not bigots? And given that a google search of Ezra Levant's website shows 33 posts by him where he uses the phrase "Official Jews" as a condescending term, does that mean he couldn't make those posts here? Oh, dear!

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-08-19 7:25:49 PM

Fact Check wrote: “Liz, You are a bigot.”

No, you are. Your need to reflexively e-wedgie anyone who disagrees with you demonstrates a lack of tolerance.

Fact Check wrote: “Fortunately, people of your ilk are being more and more socially and politically marginalized.”

Did you even read the results of the last federal election?

Fact Check wrote: “Enjoy the ride down that "degenerative path", becauser it is the irreversable one we are on. Or maybe you could join Fred Phelps. Whatever.”

The only thing that’s degenerating, old bean, is your mind, as evinced by your inability to write a sentence without fucking it up. Of course, good multi-culti Leftie that you are, you may be a total bomb-out in the three R’s, but no doubt you’re conversant with the nutritional values of foods from a variety of different cultures.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-08-19 7:28:53 PM

Dr. Dawg, there are indeed responsibilities that go with becoming a Doctor of Medicine, but offing people isn’t one of them. I fail to see why doctors should have fewer rights than, say, lawyers, who have every right in the world to accept or reject a client, even though, by law, every accused has the right to representation.

Also, many of the “medical procedures” and “medicines” this politically correct body is trying to force down physicians’ throats are nothing of the kind. Abortion is not a medical procedure, any more than waxing leg hair or tucking tummies is. It requires medical knowledge, but that doesn’t make it medicine. The morning-after pill isn’t medicine either, as pregnancy is not a disease. I agree professionals whose religious beliefs make it impossible for them to participate in a given act should willingly give referrals, and they should be cited should they fail to do so, but that’s as far as it ought to go.

Oh yes, and there is one other thing no one else has thought to bring up. Ontario already has the worst shortage of doctors in its history. How, exactly, is reducing the pool of eligible candidates even further going to remedy that situation? Because contrary to what our elites seem to believe, most Canadians are not as spiritually or morally barren as they.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-08-19 7:40:52 PM

Glen, you're welcome.

Dr. Dawg: "If your religious convictions stand in the way or your doing a job, choose another job."


Are you aware that a great many of Toronto's hospitals were founded by religious people--that is, Christians and Jews?

St. John's Rehab Hospital : Anglican nuns (Sisters of St. John the Divine)
St. Michael's: Catholic nuns (the Sisters of St. Joseph)
Hospital for Sick Children: Presbyterian missionaries
Toronto General: philanthropists moved by a sense of Christian duty
Mount Sinai: Jewish benefactors

In each case, religious conviction--being your brother's keeper, doing unto others as you would have them do unto you--was the motivation for opening these public institutions which served and continue to serve everyone in the community--whether or not they share the founding faith of the institution.

Are you saying, Dr. Dawg, that only individuals of no religious conviction should become doctors? If you are, what a travesty of Canadians' fundamental rights and freedoms.

Are you saying that only secular humanist doctors should be counselling young girls about their sexuality? If that's the case, they'll most assuredly be encouraging them to go on the pill, have their boyfriends/sexual partners use condoms (even though condoms don't protect against a large number of STDS, especially if they're spread by skin-to-skin contact), to have an abortion if they get pregnant, etc., etc. No choice offered: just the secular, humanist, utilitarian view.

How is this, to use the language of the "enlightened" left, tolerant, open, or inclusive?

Then, what about Christians who would like to be able to choose a Christian doctor? Are they just plain outta luck? 'They're going to have to go to a doctor who shares none of their convictions or concerns? Why would a secular doctor not have an obligation to refer a Christian to a doctor who shares his/her values?

In your world, Dawg, freedom's just another word for the jackboot of the secular humanist state, just another word for lib-left-fem-gay totalitarianism.

Why, that isn't freedom at all.

Posted by: batb | 2008-08-19 8:20:55 PM

To hear ou folks on the right -- everyone from Lorne Gunter on down -- talk about this, you`d think that the CPSO was requiring every doctor in Ontario to perform a monthly abortion while bowing down to a golden statue of Barbara Hall. But then I suppose accuracy is a little too much to ask from the right, especially when it comes to human rights law.

The draft policy doesn`t force physicians to perform procedures that are contrary to their moral or religious beliefs. It merely requires that they a) be clear about what procedures they won`t perform because of moral or religious qualms b) not withhold medical information about those procedures from their patients c) refrain from imposing their moral or religious beliefs on their patients or expressing personal judgments about their patients decisions and d) refer the patient to a doctor who will perform the procedure or provide them with sufficient information that they can find one themselves.

In other words, it requires doctors to act as professionals, rather than as gods, priests or moral arbitrars. Those roles are reserved for those, such as Mr. Matthews, whose grand moral certainty is bearable for the simple reason that they`re blowhards who can`t do any harm - or provide any benefit -- to anyone.

Posted by: truewest | 2008-08-19 8:27:18 PM


1. The point is that CPSO will remove their choice from the matter, on the strength of a hypothetical argument. The spirit of liberal democracy requires that more evidence be brought to light before stripping people of their freedoms, to say nothing of their Charter rights. I’m not aware of any specific cases that were cited as an impetus to bring in this new policy.

2. If you have a link to this “draft policy” I would like to see it. As you word it the policy is reasonable, but it also sounds a lot like what’s already a de facto status quo, and therefore redundant. Since this is Bantario we’re talking about, something tells me there’s more to it than that.

3. Given your record of defending one of the greatest threats to liberal freedoms since McCarthyism, you’re in no position to be tossing about anti-1950’s-moral-cliché dogma.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-08-19 8:53:21 PM

1. All professions require that practitioners sacrifice personal choice to some degree. The notion that doctors are just businessmen with degrees, rather than professionals with a duty that stands above self-interest or self-actualization, is unfounded in law and practice.

2. The draft policy is widely available. You can find it here: www.cpso.on.ca/Policies/consultation/HumanRightsDRAFT_08.pdf

3. Don't be an idiot. More precisely, don't be a hyperbolic, hysterical idiot.

Posted by: truewest | 2008-08-19 9:30:05 PM

batb, which "Christians" are you referring to? Just google "hate websites with a religious connection". www.godhatesfags.com,www.godhatesamerica.com,www.westborobaptistchurch.com, www.godhatescanada.com,www.hatemongers.com,www.thesignofthetimes.net. Could some of these Christians be connected to hate sites like these and many others? Or do you just mean the "good " Christians that build hospitals? I could be way off base with this, after all I did research this on the internet.

Posted by: glen | 2008-08-19 10:12:00 PM

Shane Matthews: "The point is that CPSO will remove their choice from the matter, on the strength of a hypothetical argument."

Exactly. How big a problem is this? I've never heard a complaint from a patient that their doctor is "too religious" or too tied to his/her conscience. Has anyone here? I've never seen any item on this "concern" in the media, ever.

So, the CPSO is making policy, which would curtail the freedoms of doctors with religious convictions, just on the supposition that religious values held by an M.D. MIGHT negatively impact one of their patients?

Weird. And dangerous.

I've had a doctor, on the other hand, try to push HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) drugs on me and look at me strangely when I declined.

Should I be taking him to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario for his secular humanist views, which don't exactly mesh with mine?

Are you kidding? He's free to his ill-informed, secular opinions even though he's a doctor.

I can always find another doctor or go to emerg if I'm really bothered by my doctor's uninformed views which don't line up with my own.

(BTW, I was right about the dangers of HRT and why I wasn't even considering it. My doctor never acknowledged the faulty reasoning behind his encouraging me to take it. And, if I had taken it and got cancer from the surfeit of estrogen in my system or had a stroke or heart attack--the incidents of which ROSE in women on HRT--would he have taken responsiblity for my illness/es because he'd prescribed the medication that caused it/them?)

The last thing we need is more government regulations which, frankly, seem engineered only to eventually swell the OHRC's case load.

CPSO policy = more work for Babs and her Bullies

Posted by: batb | 2008-08-19 10:16:09 PM

Are you kidding? He's free to his ill-informed, secular opinions even though he's a doctor.

For a minute I thought you were talking about Grant Brown, but then I remembered he's not a real doctor. BWAHAHAHA

Posted by: The Stig | 2008-08-19 10:22:56 PM

Oh, for G*d's sake, Glen. You obviously live a sheltered life.

Which Christians am I referring to?

Certainly not the rarefied kind you've dug up in your Google search. All the sites sound as though they might feature Fred Phelps who's a kook and a deeply disturbed man, by the kinds of things he and his "church" do and say.

Show me a public hospital in Canada, or anywhere, started by secular humanists with no religious convictions for the benefit of all. Even the Masons with their Shriners' Hospitals believe in a higher power.

The concern on the part of the CPSO is their setting up a straw wo/man to knock down--or, at least, to harrass.

Given that Jesus' mandate to His followers is "to love one another," including one's enemies, and to "do good to all that hate you," it's an oxymoron to talk about Christian hate Web sites. The writers of these blogs are very strange Christians and, IMHO, aren't Christian at all.

Posted by: batb | 2008-08-19 10:29:48 PM

Not to mention that our own Chater begins with
This Charter Recognizes That God Reigns Supreme
and then everything that follows just beats the hell out of that idea....

Posted by: JC | 2008-08-19 10:34:14 PM

The Stig: "Are you kidding? He's free to his ill-informed, secular opinions even though he's a doctor."

I kid you not. Saying nasty things about Grant Brown aside, the misinformed doctor is not a figment of my imagination and, no doubt, is still treating patients, though I moved on a long time ago.

The point I'm making is that no doctor's perfect, no doctor is going to live up to everything on your check list, so why is it only doctors with religious convictions being put under the microscope and being threatened with reprisals if they act according to their conscience? We've seen these tactics used in the HRCs and HRTs, with Christians being the main whipping boys.

So now, we're going to give the CPSO carte blanche to harrass Christian doctors?--because that's where this policy is headed.

Posted by: batb | 2008-08-19 10:36:15 PM

batb, I do like your interpretation of Christians much better than some of those creepy websites. I suppose if hospitals are built on that sort of foundation I would support that. But if you allow one religion to influence Doctor's decisions, then you gotta let all religions into that realm also, and that could get a little complicated.

Posted by: glen | 2008-08-19 10:49:09 PM

Truewest wrote: “All professions require that practitioners sacrifice personal choice to some degree.”

But not their Charter rights.

Truewest wrote: “The notion that doctors are just businessmen with degrees, rather than professionals with a duty that stands above self-interest or self-actualization, is unfounded in law and practice.”

Their duty is to the practice of medicine—which, strictly speaking, excludes elective abortion and elective reproduction therapy.

TrueWest wrote: “The draft policy is widely available. You can find it here: www.cpso.on.ca/Policies/consultation/HumanRightsDRAFT_08.pdf”

And what a surprise, the draft mentions the Human Rights Tribunal as the impetus for this new policy. Sounds to me like they’re just afraid of getting on the wrong side of Canada’s very own Star Chamber. As the very precise text of the report states, and I quote, that “Physicians should be aware that decisions to restrict medical services offered, to accept individuals as patients or to end physician-patient relationships that are based on moral or religious belief may contravene the Code, and/or constitute professional misconduct.”

Truewest wrote: “Don't be an idiot. More precisely, don't be a hyperbolic, hysterical idiot.”

Oh, please. The CHRC is an agency on a mission to root out “un-Canadian” activities (as defined by them) just as Senator McCarthy was. A CHRC guiding light went so far as to call free speech an “American import.” And people’s Charter rights are being trampled in the process. Not that I expect you to care; your politically correct human-rights agenda seems to come before everything.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-08-20 12:30:41 AM

P.S. It was "un-American" activities that the McCarthyites persecuted. However, their chauvinistic paranoia is the same in both cases. This is what happens when you base policy on emotion rather than on facts and ethics.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-08-20 12:33:40 AM

So the College expects physicians to obey the law, including the law prohibiting discrimination in the provision of services. I realize that may come as a shock to those used to thinking of themselves as god-like, but I don't think most reasonable people would support an exemption from the law for Dr. Holier-Than-Thou.
The rest of your argument is just bluster, invective (Star Chamber! McCarthyism!) and an idiotic attempt to redefine medicine to suit your particular dogma.
BTW, the Charter doesn't help you here, as you would known if you understood the first damn thing about the subject. The Charter guarantees both equality and freedom of conscience; it is trite law that one Charter right does not trump another.
The policy strikes a Charter-friendly balance. Physicians who object to certain procedures aren't forced to perform them. They are, however, forbidden from lying to their patients, witholding information from them, browbeating them or refusing to help them find a doctor who will perform the produedure. You know, stuff that would be unethical in any case.

Posted by: truewest | 2008-08-20 1:01:58 AM


1. There’s a difference between expecting people to obey the law and removing all possibility of breaking it via the suppression of freedoms. We could enjoy a zero-percent crime rate if we kept people locked in cages no less than two metres apart. I have no problem with requiring doctors to conduct themselves professionally and not turn a patient away on arbitrary criteria such as race or creed. But in today’s politically correct world it is not a stretch to imagine a doctor charged for discriminating against women by refusing to perform abortions.

2. The more dung you hurl, the less effective you become. You just can’t resist argumentum ad hominem, can you? This betrays your own insecurity. As for “redefining medicine,” don’t make me laugh. Medicine consists of repairing the injured, healing the sick, and preserving good health. Abortion and euthanasia are the antithesis of medicine. Maybe you should look “medicine” up in the dictionary, hmm?

3. The wording of the policy is disturbingly vague, thanks in large part to the vagueness and uncertainty surrounding human rights law. It is not so clearly cut and dried as you imply. The document urges physicians to consider putting aside their personal beliefs for the needs of the patient. Fair enough—but isn’t that bastion of ethics Henry Morgantaler suing the province of New Brunswick at this very moment for not funding abortions, on the basis that abortions are “needed” medicine? To a liberal, “need” and “want” are synonymous terms.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-08-20 7:33:54 AM

Describing your argument as consisting of bluster and invective and pointing out that you know diddly about the Charter is not ad hominem. It is a comment on your argument - not you. So please, quit whining.
And to suggest that this will lead to doctors being "charged" for refusing to perform abortions is simply silly. First, nobody is talking about "charging " anyone - this isn't criminal law. Second, the policy deals with the issue of professional discipline within a self-governing profession. It seems most unlikely the doctors who make up the college will discipline someone who declines to perform a particular procedure, absent other conduct.
You're grasping at straws.

Posted by: truewest | 2008-08-20 8:10:16 AM

truewest: "Physicians...are...forbidden from lying to their patients, witholding information from them, browbeating them or refusing to help them find a doctor who will perform the produedure. You know, stuff that would be unethical in any case."

You got it, truewest! "...stuff that would be unethical in any case."

So why is the CPSO mounting yet more regulations which, as Shane Matthews so articulately points out, "remov[e] all possibility of breaking [them] via the suppression of freedoms"?

As for your many ad hominems, how about:

"Mr. Matthews...grand moral certainty is bearable for the simple reason that [he and others of his convictions are] blowhards who can`t do any harm--or provide any benefit-- to anyone."

"Don't be a hyperbolic, hysterical...idiot"

"…the rest of your argument is just bluster, invective...and...idiotic..."

Disagreeing and calling your opponent names to bolster your argument are two different things.

truewest, re your comment "It seems most unlikely the doctors who make up the college will discipline someone who declines to perform a particular procedure, absent other conduct": Have you ever heard of the concept of "the slippery slope"?

'Look at how the CHRCs began: to help those without resources who were being discriminated against in employment and housing situations. Watch dogs were advising caution when these provisions were made and have been proven to be prophetic: Now the HRCs are being used to curtail and trample the rights and freedoms of Christians and conservatives.

As for your comment: "...[the proposed CPSO policy] requires doctors to act as professionals, rather than as gods, priests or moral arbitrars [sic]." I don't know of any Christian or Jewish doctors--do you?--who act as "gods, priests or moral arbiters [sic]." In actuality, I'd say that secular humanist doctors--Henry Morgentaler being a prime example--take on those roles, and who's giving them a rough time? Wouldn't you think the CPSO might be more concerned about Morgentaler's reportedly $11,000,000 yearly salary MADE IN PRIVATE CLINICS than in a few physicians who predicate their care on their moral and ethical values—which are to do no harm?

We live in a topsy-turvey world these days.

Posted by: batb | 2008-08-20 9:29:52 AM

Falsewest wrote: “Describing your argument as consisting of bluster and invective and pointing out that you know diddly about the Charter is not ad hominem.”

But calling me a hyperbolic, hysterical idiot certainly is. Can you not remember more than one post back? And you presume to lecture us on the Charter. It is to laugh.

Falsewest wrote: “And to suggest that this will lead to doctors being "charged" for refusing to perform abortions is simply silly.”

Given that pockets have been picked to the tune of $30,000 for asking an employee to hang up a few poinsettias—also on the orders of a “human rights” tribunal—there’s ample precedent.

Falsewest wrote: “First, nobody is talking about "charging " anyone - this isn't criminal law.”

Criminal law would be kinder. Not many criminal charges would effectively erase the fifteen years of your life you’ve spent becoming a doctor. Oh, and such things as burden of proof, standards of evidence, and truth as defence also apply to criminal law, but not to human rights tribunals—who for the most part aren’t even staffed by real lawyers, let alone bona fide judges.

Falsewest wrote: “Second, the policy deals with the issue of professional discipline within a self-governing profession. It seems most unlikely the doctors who make up the college will discipline someone who declines to perform a particular procedure, absent other conduct.”

To paraphrase Gregory House, the “doctors” who sit in judgement over their fellows are not really doctors, but administrators. And the college won’t hesitate to cut loose anyone whose conduct might damage the credibility or viability of the College, even if such conduct is morally defensible. That’s the whole reason for this pre-emptive measure in the first place.

Falsewest wrote: “You're grasping at straws.”

Alas, I could not grasp at them even if I wanted to, for you have long since hoarded the entire bale to yourself.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-08-20 9:58:11 AM

Shane Matthews @ 20-Aug-08 9:58:11 AM: Good one!!

glen, I'm glad you "like [my] interpretation of Christians much better than some of those creepy websites."

As for your comment, "I suppose if hospitals are built on that sort of foundation I would support the operative word is not "if." Most hospitals--all, actually--ARE founded on "that sort of foundation." This is a FACT, not a value judgment or opinion. Do your own research. Check it out.

Canadians are used only to the anti-Christian, anti-church propaganda pap fed them by the secular humanist, socialist, lib-left MSM.

Do get out a little more, glen. It would do you good and you might have your eyes opened a little wider to the reality that Christians are--and have been for centuries--more a force for good in our society than their portrayal by the lib-left jackals in government, in education, and in the MSM as an evil to be stamped out--or whose rights and freedoms need to be curtailed.

Posted by: batb | 2008-08-20 10:31:37 AM

batb, I actually do get out a little, and have met many Christians that are smart, educated , contributing people. Still I think Doctors turning people away because of "their beliefs" isn't quite as forgiving and "God loving" as you say they are.

Posted by: glen | 2008-08-20 10:48:07 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.