Render Unto Caesar: The Constitutionality of Ontario's Effective Referral Requirement for Medical Assistance in Dying

4 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2017

Date Written: June 7, 2017

Abstract

Analysis of a recent constitutional lawsuit by religious doctors against the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. When a doctor refuses to offer medical assistance in dying for religious or conscientious reasons, the College requires the objector to give the patient an "effective referral" so that the patient can receive the procedure from another accessible doctor. The religious doctors say that the College's forced referral has unjustifiably taken away their religious freedom under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I argue that the College's approach is justifiable under the Charter, but should still be revised to better accommodate religious freedom.

Keywords: Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, human rights, freedom of religion, religious freedom, effective referral, medical assistance in dying, MAID, proportionality, minimal impairment, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

Suggested Citation

Smith, Derek, Render Unto Caesar: The Constitutionality of Ontario's Effective Referral Requirement for Medical Assistance in Dying (June 7, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2982612 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2982612

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