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Pulling the plug on conscience rights

Originally published in First Things, December 2009 by Wesley J. Smith   Over the past fifty years, the purposes and practices of medicine have changed radically. Where medical ethics was once life-affirming, today’s treatments and medical procedures increasingly involve the legal taking of human life. The litany is familiar: More than one million pregnancies are extinguished each year in the United States, thousands late-term. Physician-assisted suicide is legal in Oregon, …Read More

Doctor who objects to physician-assisted suicide says role is in ‘service of the sanctity of life’

Originally published in CBC News, April 2017 by Andrea Janus A Scarborough palliative care physician says she would like Ontario to adopt a direct-access model for physician-assisted suicide, making it widely available to patients while bypassing doctors who object to the procedure. Dr. Natalia Novosedlik is one of a group of doctors seeking what’s called “conscience protection” in the province’s assisted dying law, meaning physicians who oppose euthanasia or physician-assisted …Read More

Euthanasia and the common good

Originally published in Corpus, July 2018 by Charlotte Paul When I started thinking hard about euthanasia, I visited my friend who has a progressive illness affecting his body and mind, and who is in hospital-level care. His partner has moved into the same residence to help look after him. She responds to his suffering with love, and you can sometimes see in his eyes that he recognises this. I honour them both: his endurance and gratitude; her generosity. …Read More

When doctors say No

Originally published in MercatorNet, May 2017 by Michael Quinlan As abortion, euthanasia and other controversial procedures become more widespread, conscientious objection for healthcare workers is becoming a flashpoint for controversy throughout the Western world. Some doctors and ethicists have argued that conscientious objection itself is unethical because doctors are required to fulfil any legal request that their patients make. MercatorNet interviewed Professor Michael Quinlan, dean of the law school at …Read More

Protecting the Careers of Medical Professionals Who Believe in the Hippocratic Oath

Originally published in The Center for Bioethics and Culture, May 2009 by Wesley J. Smith We live in a culturally diverse society in which people vary greatly in their moral beliefs about the importance of human life. These profound differences are most bitterly expressed in the medical context, particularly with regard to issues such as abortion, physician-assisted suicide, embryonic stem cell research, and other life and death policies and procedures. …Read More

Politicians wrestle with doctors’ consciences in Victoria

Originally published in MercatorNet, April 2017 by Paul Russell As the Victorian Ministerial Advisory Panel on “assisted dying” makes ready to release its interim report sometime in April, The Age newspaper turned its attention to the matter of conscience whether a doctor may refuse to take part in any action that would bring about the premature and deliberate death of a person. Conscience – or the ability to draw upon one’s …Read More

Growing Intolerance Threatens Rights of Conscience of Health Care Workers

Originally published in CNS News, March 2016 by Lynn Wardle Around the world, policies and actions of many governments and governmental agencies are threatening rights of conscience of health care providers and employees.  These challenges and dangers seem to be increasing. Recent times have seen numerous high-profile incidents in which nurses, doctors, hospital staff, government employees, and other health care workers are being pressured, required and forced to provide morally-controversial …Read More

Understanding freedom of conscience

Originally published in Policy Options, May 2018 by Brian Bird The year 2017 marks the 150th anniversary since Confederation and the 35th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. By virtue of a court case in Ontario that might go all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada, 2017 may also be the year when freedom of conscience — until now a dormant Charter freedom — …Read More

Why the right to conscientious objection must be restored

Originally published in Conscience Laws, June 2014 Presentation to the Life Dinner Melbourne, Australia by David van Gend I feel a little out of place coming from Queensland to speak about the wretched situation in Victoria: coming from a State where it is always sunny, where the people are always nice, and where we don’t have oppressive laws that try to compel the conscience of free citizens. But we are all …Read More

In reply to supporters of the End of Life Choice Bill

Originally published in New Zealand Doctor, February 2018 by Rosalie Evans   I agree that all doctors should read the End of Life Choice Bill. However, unlike Dr Havill et al, I do not believe it is inevitable that this bill will become law, writes GP Rosalie Evans. Dr Havill et al “cherry-picked” a few submissions to the health select committee which promoted a change in the law, as evidence for their viewpoint Far more jurisdictions have rejected moves to legalise euthanasia …Read More