Kelden Formosa

I am deeply concerned about your efforts to reduce the ability of physicians of conscience to decline to provide "effective referrals" for certain immoral and unethical services that neither they nor I consider medicine. The first obligation of doctors has always been to do no harm. Efforts from the College to force physicians to harm their patients, e.g., by providing effective referrals for them to be euthanized, undermine that key principle. Moreover, forcing physicians of conscience to betray themselves or leave the profession will further reduce public trust in the medical community, especially among the most vulnerable. For example, how would members of religious minorities be able to trust a community that had explicitly sought to exclude them? Finally, this effort will harm the College's efforts to create a stable, diverse, and representative group of doctors to serve the public. Many doctors will not be able to abide by this policy, including members of underrepresented groups. Will they have to face a choice between betraying their consciences and leaving the profession or the province? And if they are forced out, who will serve the patients they leave behind? This "effective referral" provision is unnecessary, divisive, and risks major harm to the medical profession in the province of Alberta. It should be removed.

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