Many readers who share my Christian beliefs will agree with me that living in the world of liturgies, prayers, and Scriptures is peaceful and full of joy. But, as we have seen so many times and in so many places where people are persecuted and killed for no reason other than their religious convictions, our freedom to lead a religious and moral life that's grounded in Christian beliefs and morality should not be taken for granted. It needs to be defended. Sometimes, as so many martyrs and saints have done in the history of the Church, it may even require the shedding of blood and the sacrifice of lives.
"OK. I'll fight a good fight! I'll join the Church martyrs; I'm ready to die for Christ!" you say. Not so soon! And it's not so simple. Often times, it's the little battles that add up and eventually get us killed without us knowing it - much like a frog dying in the "warmth" of slow boiling water! Here's one of those battles we cannot afford to ignore.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) is asking for public input as part of its regular review of policy guidelines. At issue in this current review is the right of doctors to refuse to provide certain treatments based on religious or moral grounds. The current CPSO policy allows doctors to refrain from performing non-emergency procedures should the procedures violate their individual conscience.
“Non-emergency procedures” refer to issues such as infant male circumcision, prescribed birth control, certain types of medications, medicinal marijuana, or an abortion procedure. (In the future, this list may very well include euthanasia or assisted suicide.) In other words, we are not talking about providing health-care services where a patient’s life is at risk.
If you believe, as I do, that CPSO should NOT be imposing morality on all physicians, to the point where doctors need to violate their own conscience in order to serve their patients’ need to do non-emergency procedures (as listed above), you should go to CPSO’s Quick Poll to vote YES on their question: “Do you think a physician should be allowed to refuse to provide a patient with a treatment or procedure because it conflicts with the physician’s religious or moral beliefs?”
While you are there, you may also want to submit a comment against CPSO’s attempt to impose their morality on all physicians. You can do so by posting your comment to the CPSO forum, or by emailing CPSO. Links are available on the CPSO Quick Poll to allow you to do both. Here’s the link to the CPSO Quick Poll (deadline for feedback is August 5, 2014):
CPSO Quick Poll
Should you be interested in researching more about this issue and why the answer to the CPSO Quick Poll question should be YES, I would recommend the following three articles:
1. Article by John Carpay
2. Article by David Bulgar
3. Article by Mike Schouten
(Acknowledgement: The content of this post is adopted partly from the Mike Schouten article with modification.)