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Take Action on Conscience Rights

Call to Action

The EFC is partnering with the Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience in its Call for Conscience campaign, including special time-limited campaigns in various provinces.

These campaigns encourage residents to contact their provincial politicians to ask for strong conscience protection in current legislation.

More information

  • Provinces are developing policies for how they will process requests for assisted death under the new legislation. Most provinces outside of Ontario are finding ways to protect the conscience of healthcare workers.
  • Ontario has adopted a policy that doctors must provide effective referrals even for procedures that violate their deeply held beliefs. This means they must refer a patient seeking euthanasia or assisted suicide to a physician or nurse practitioner who is willing to help end the patient’s life. A court challenge of this policy by several doctors’ groups, including EFC-affiliate the Christian Medical and Dental Society, received a disappointing court decision in January 2018.
  • New! The disappointing January 2018 court decision in Ontario is being appealed. Doctor groups filed their papers May 18, 2018. A date for the appeal has not yet been set.
  • Ontario may also require long term care facilities to allow assisted death on their premises.
  • All Canadians can urge their MPP and Provincial Minister of Health to protect conscience and avoid or remove policies like those in Ontario. The EFC encourages Canadians to call or write your MPP today. The EFC is part of a group that is mobilizing Canadians in each province. Find sample letters for each province and more at www.canadiansforconscience.ca/provinces. You can also help raise awareness in your church or plan a meeting with your provincial government representative using materials from that website.
  • Ontario bill: The EFC submitted a brief to the Ontario Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs on March 30, 2017 calling for the addition of conscience protection to Bill 84. That bill has now been passed.
  • Federal bill: MP Mark Warawa has introduced at the federal level private member’s Bill C-268  to create an offence of coercion, in order to provide conscience protection for healthcare workers. See the EFC’s sample letter to support this bill.

Actions by the EFC

  • The EFC is partnering with the Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience in the 2018 Ontario Call for Conscience Campaign. The EFC is a founding member of the Coalition.
  • The EFC, the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario and the Christian Legal Fellowship object to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario’s requirement that doctors provide referrals or conduct procedures that violate their consciences. A constitutional challenge launched by five doctors, Christian Medical Dental Society, and two other physicians’ groups was heard in June 2017, and a disappointing decision was released in January 2018 that could be precedent-setting for how professional associations treat conscientious objection. New! That court decision in Ontario is being appealed. Doctor groups filed their papers May 18, 2018. A date for the appeal has not yet been set.
  • EFC President Bruce Clemenger joined other faith leaders in signing an open letter to Ontario MPPs on March 27, 2017.
  • The EFC submitted a brief to the Ontario Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs on March 30, 2017.
  • The EFC wrote to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario on their forced referral policy Jan. 13, 2016
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