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Let Thy Conscience Be Thy Guide (But Not My Guide!): Physicians and the Duty to Refer

McGill Journal of Law and Health 2016 10(2)

Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2016-40

53 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2016 Last revised: 21 Feb 2017

Daphne Gilbert

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Date Written: October 12, 2016

Abstract

This article analyses a court challenge brought by a group of physicians and advocacy groups to practice guidelines promulgated by their regulatory body. The guidelines require physicians with conscience or religious objections to providing certain kinds of care to effectively refer patients to a non-objecting physician. The author considers the specific context of abortion and contraception as the location of conscience objections. The author concludes that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to physicians and requires them to abide by the regulatory guidelines.

Keywords: Charter, medicine, conscience, physicians, abortion, contraception, religion

Suggested Citation

Gilbert, Daphne, Let Thy Conscience Be Thy Guide (But Not My Guide!): Physicians and the Duty to Refer (October 12, 2016). McGill Journal of Law and Health 2016 10(2); Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2016-40. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2851448

Daphne Gilbert (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada

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