Jonathan Van Schepen

I'm thankful that it seems you have removed the phrase "effective referral" from the conscientious objection policy. Doctors should be able to exercise their freedom of conscience, and forcing doctors to provide effective referrals to procedures which are against their sincerely-held beliefs (i.e. would violate freedom of conscience and/or religion) is repugnant in a supposedly free and democratic society such as Canada. How many patients in Alberta want their doctors to firmly oppose procedures such as Medical Aid in Dying, for example? For many patients, this is a matter of primary importance, namely knowing that their doctors are principally against MAiD and will not "pass the buck" by providing "effective referrals". Limiting the freedoms of doctors can negatively impact the comfort that patients have with their physicians. Once again, thank you for removing this clause. I also think you should reinstate language that specifically relates to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Freedoms of conscience and religion are fundamental freedoms in Canada. Robust references to our fundamental freedoms should be retained in the Conscientious Objection policy rather than excised and/or watered down by vaguer references to "conscience, cultural belief (I'm not sure what this term means), and religion." Thank you for considering this feedback, and thank you for your work in guiding our physicians.

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