St. Luke’s News

Guild Members,
The Ontario Divisional Court released its decision today in our joint challenge to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario on conscience rights policies. You may download the decision. See links here:
In short, the Court found that the rights of religious freedom of Ontario doctors are significantly violated by the CPSO’s policies, but that those violations can be justified to ensure patient access to healthcare. The “salutary effects” of patient access outweigh the “deleterious effects” which are the affirmed harms experienced by our doctors who feel that they cannot participate in these procedures via referral or otherwise.
We are very disappointed with this ruling. We are the only jurisdiction in the world that requires an effective referral. This decision could affect all doctors in Canada. All people of faith should be very concerned about their right to freedom of religion and conscience.
All parties will now discuss the next course of action. We will keep you informed.