Dialogue Volume 11 Issue 1 2015 - Page 11

feature Professional Obligations and Human Rights Physicians must respect the fundamental rights of those who seek their care, states recently approved policy C It quickly became apparent during the ouncil approved a policy consultation that participants held very which sets out physicians’ ex“The policy aims different perspectives on the policy isisting legal obligations under to balance both sues. The view that physicians should not the Ontario Human Rights have to provide services that conflict with Code and the College’s expectation that physician and their moral and/or religious beliefs was physicians will respect the fundamental patient rights” strongly represented among consultation rights of those who seek their services. participants. Others took the opposite The policy – Professional Obligations view, arguing that patients should not and Human Rights - also addresses the be impacted by a physician’s personally held beliefs. College’s expectations in circumstances where physicians Both viewpoints were carefully considered in drafting limit the services they provide for reasons of conscience the policy. or religion. It was this section of the policy that fueled an The policy aims to balance both patient and physician unprecedented volume of consultation responses, with rights in this context. While the Charter of Rights and more than 9000 respondents weighing in. Issue 1, 2015 Dialogue Issue1_15.indd 11 11 2015-03-19 11:18 AM