News Release

CPSO defends patients’ rights to access health services

Jun 13, 2017

Two applications are scheduled to be heard in the Divisional Court on June 13, 14 and 15 relating to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario’s Human Rights and Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) policies.

The College is vigorously defending patients’ rights to access care. The College requires that physicians who do not want to provide a medical service for reasons of conscience or religion establish a mechanism to connect their patients with an available, non-objecting health care provider with whom the patient can explore all options (“effective referral”).

This Challenge against the College’s expectations of physicians has been initiated by the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada, The Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians’ Societies, Canadian Physicians for Life as well as five other individual physicians.

“We believe that our policies balance patients’ rights to access all health services with any physician’s conscience or religious beliefs.” said Dr. David Rouselle, College President. “Although an effective referral does not guarantee a patient will receive a treatment, it ensures access to care and demonstrates respect for patient autonomy.”

Interveners in support of the College position include the Attorney General of Ontario, Dying with Dignity Canada, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association as well as a number of others.

The applications are being heard: June 13, 14 and 15, 2017 at the Superior Court of Justice - Divisional Court, Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto in Courtroom 3. The start time is 10:00 a.m.

Media Inquiries:
Jill Hefley
Jhefley@cpso.on.ca

Tracey Sobers
tsobers@cpso.on.ca

416-967-2600 ext. 611