News Release

College Launches Consultations on Policies and Transparency By-laws

Consultation Includes Human Rights, End-of-Life Care and Consent to Treatment Policies

Dec 11, 2014

Toronto – The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario today launched a series of consultations on important issues affecting physicians and patients.  The issues include draft policies on Human Rights, End-of-Life Care and Consent to Treatment, as well as a number of by-law changes that could make more information about physicians available to the public.

“The consultations are an opportunity for the public and others to provide the College with insight and feedback to ensure the policies reflect current standards and are consistent with our mandate to protect the public,” said College President Dr. Carol Leet.

Starting today, the public can provide input around proposed new policies in a number of areas, including:

  • Professional Obligations and Human Rights – Sets expectations to provide health services without discrimination, and to accommodate individuals who may face barriers to accessing care. Under the proposed policy, physicians would be required to refer patients to other doctors for services they object to on moral or religious grounds.
  • Planning for and Providing Quality End-of-Life Care – Updates the College’s professional expectations of physicians and provides guidance on a range of issues relating to quality end-of-life care. Under the proposed policy, there are new communications guidelines for end-of-life care.
  • The updated Consent to Treatment policy sets our expectations of physicians and provides guidance regarding their obligations to obtain consent prior to providing treatment.

Increasing the amount of physician-specific information that is available to the public has been a College priority for more than two years. As part of that initiative, the College is seeking public input on new transparency by-laws that would see additional information posted on the public register, such as information resulting from the investigative process that is not currently public.  The proposal also includes adding information which may be obtained elsewhere, but is not always easy to access, such as criminal charges against physicians and whether they have licences in other jurisdictions.

“While the College has always been a leader with respect to our transparency practices, we believe that providing access to additional physician-specific information may help patients make informed choices and enhance our accountability to the public,” said Dr. Leet.

For more information, and to participate in the consultation, please consult the CPSO website at

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