Canada: No Religious Liberty for Doctors

Lea Singh writes from Ottawa, Canada and blogs at http://leazsingh.blogspot.ca/. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Dartmouth College, and previously worked in a New York law firm before joining nonprofit organizations to defend the worth and dignity of human life and the natural family, both at the United Nations and in Canada’s capital.  She is currently employed full time as the homeschooling mother of three young children.


ggAnother attack on religious freedom is under way in Canada, this time against doctors in the province of Ontario. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is reviewing its human rights code guidelines, and the public response has been explosive. Many people want the College to change its present practice of permitting doctors to opt out of referring or prescribing treatments that violate their ethics or religious faith.

This is not a case of liberal intellectuals and unelected leaders reducing our freedoms without the consent of the public. Judging by the slew of negative comments to stories in the mainstream media, the public is on the side of clamping down on doctors. It’s disturbing to see that of the nearly 9000 votes submitted in the College’s online poll, around 67% said “no” to the question: “Do you think a physician should be allowed to refuse to provide a patient with a treatment or procedure because it conflicts with the physician’s religious or moral beliefs?”

Why are people so keen to end religious freedom for our doctors? The media has been harping on the case of 25-year-old Kate Desjardins, an Ottawa woman who was denied a birth control pill prescription at a walk-in clinic. The doctor she consulted, Edmond Kyrillos, happened to be a practicing Catholic who distributes a letter to all prospective patients, informing them that “because of reasons of my own medical judgment as well as professional ethical concerns and religious values, I only provide one form of birth control, Natural Family Planning.”

Canada’s free health care system ensures patients would never be dependent on a doctor like Kyrillos – any patient can walk into any Emergency Room or Public Health Clinic and receive the prescriptions or referrals they are seeking, and those who want abortions don’t even need a referral. Ms. Desjardins’ inconvenience was minor, since she lives in a major Canadian city and another walk-in clinic happened to be only several hundred meters away.  But Ms. Desjardins went public with the letter and claimed embarrassment at having to go elsewhere for her prescription.

Another example that has been brought up in the media is the instance of remote rural locations where there might be only one doctor within the range of reasonable travel. But this problem is resolved under the existing policy, since doctors already have a duty to treat patients who lack access to alternate care. Catholic doctors who don’t want to prescribe contraception need to stay away from postings in the middle of the woods.

This debate is not really about health care at all. It’s actually about religious accommodation, and what’s becoming obvious is that our society is growing less tolerant of expressions of religious faith in professional life. Perhaps more specifically, we are getting increasingly annoyed with the Catholic views on contraception, and we don’t want them in our faces when we go to the doctor. I hesitate to use the term “witch hunt,” but it is starting to seem accurate in this case.

The Charter still protects freedom of religion as fundamental to our society, but few people these days seem to understand what freedom really means. If the public can become convinced that they are still free when they can only think but can’t act on their most fundamental beliefs, then the future of freedom in Canada looks bleak.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission would like nothing better than to chip away at religious freedom for doctors, and it looks like the public won’t stand in their way. When the College last reviewed its human rights policy in 2008, the Ontario Human Rights Commission urged the College to clamp down on doctors saying:

“It is [our] position that doctors, as providers of services that are not religious in nature, must essentially ‘check their personal views at the door’ in providing medical care.”

Rolling up religious freedom into the confines of our heads is as unCanadian as it is totalitarian. No dictator can control minds, but real freedom concerns the ability to conform our actions to our deepest values. As Canada’s Supreme Court stated in R v Big M Drug Mart, in what is still considered the definitive statement on this subject:

“The essence of the concept of freedom of religion is the right to entertain such religious beliefs as a person chooses, the right to declare religious beliefs openly and without fear of hindrance or reprisal, and the right to manifest religious belief by worship and practice or by teaching and dissemination.”

Canada has a long history of tolerating various religious practices and differences, such as accommodating Sikh RCMP officers wearing turbans at work. But if we turn the tide against religious accommodation, expect to see secularism enforced in other professions and against other religious groups. Canada as a whole stands to become less free.

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  • filter

    And the media pays attention to the petty crap while the rest of us are on yr long (or more) waiting list for referral appointments.

  • uleaveuswithnoalternative

    People supporting this draconian development, haven’t really carried the argument to its logical conclusion.
    On the surface, forcing physicians to provide birth control might seem like a small thing to Progressives, but what happens when MD’s are forced to perform abortions that the patient doesn’t want, when doctors are forced to euthanize patients whose care is deemed too expensive or patients are judged to be too old or too sick to treat?

    What happens if the government decides that you must be sterilized since you already have 2 children or that you’ve visited the ER too many times?

    People should familiarize themselves with England’s “Liverpool Care Protocol.”
    Patients deemed unworthy of treatment are put on an IV drip of morphine and all food/fluids are with held until the patient succumbs to a combination of drug overdose, dehydration and organ failure.

    This is the end result of government managing our healthcare.
    What’s happening in England, and in America’s VA Hospitals, is only a prelude of things to come.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/01/the_promise_of_obamacare_hospice_for_the_healthy.html

    • http://leazsingh.blogspot.ca/ Lea Singh

      All great points. You’re right that once doctors lose the ability to refuse to prescribe contraceptives, all other “legal” treatments will be equally mandatory for them if the patient so requests – what is being lost is the right to conscientious objection, and that applies across the board to all different treatments. This is all the more worrisome since Quebec just legalized euthanasia, the first place to do so in North America.

      You also write :This is the end result of government managing our healthcare.” – Indeed, I have heard the argument a few times now that since doctors are paid by taxpayers as part of our provincial health care system, they should not have any right to refuse treatment based on their personal religious or ethical values.

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      • uleaveuswithnoalternative

        Thank you for your response Ms. Singh!
        As an RN, I know what can happen when government controls healthcare and the picture isn’t a pretty one.
        When money becomes the bottom line, health care will be (and already is) being rationed.
        The young, the elderly and the handicapped will find themselves
        marginalized.
        Physicians already have the power of life and death over their patients; when government mandates/regulations enter the picture, physicians (and nurses) become mere agents of the government, carrying out governmental orders.
        Considering the abuses and horrors governments, past and present, have imposed on their citizens, people should be very wary of government mandating what physicians can and can not do.

        • Jan de Winter

          You can opt out of government-controlled health care and go to a private clinic.Government-controlled health care means that it becomes affordable for everyone, especially for the elderly and the handicapped.
          We live in a democracy and as such governments are responsible for their actions and in general act in accordance with the laws. If you talk about the abuses and horrors of government mandates, I think you probably talk about how they abuse their power to start wars (Gulf War, etc.). In that respect, it is interesting to note that people who are against government managed care are in favor of government managed war.
          But if we look at the facts, government managed care (like ‘Obama Care’ is positively received by the people who were its most staunch opposition (Republicans).
          Private health care is of course much more expensive – exactly because the medical and pharmaceutic fields enjoy a tightly guarded monopoly.
          The next time you post, please come with some facts instead of politically motivated views that are based on fear, misinformation, brainwashing, etc.

    • Jan de Winter

      your ‘what if’ arguments are meaningless. It is like ‘what if the person ringing the door is a serial killer’ as an excuse to kill that person without even asking who he is. So, they are officially out the window – all of them.
      Your views are only dictated by your beliefs and fears and not by any common sense, relevant laws, or understanding.
      However, let’s imagine this ‘what if’ scenario: your physician is opposed to inoculation on religious grounds, does not even bother to inform you about this possibility and your child gets polio. This is a possible what-if scenario.
      In the case of birth-control, the physician can explain that is included in the standard package and he can discuss the benefits and/or ‘religious benefits’ (whatever that could possibly mean). This ensures that the physicians religious views do not limit the patients rights (i.e. access to the full package of health benefits in accordance to what we believe as a democracy – unlike your what-if scenarios). Limiting patients choice because of the physicians personal religious views is tantamount to imposing his religious views on those patients, which is in in direct violation of ‘freedom of religion’.

  • uleaveuswithnoalternative

    “Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, health adviser to President Barack Obama, has written extensively about who should get medical care, who should decide, and whose life is worth saving.
    Dr. Emanuel is part of a school of thought that redefines a physician’s duty, insisting that it includes WORKING FOR THE GRATER GOOD OF SOCIETY instead of focusing only on a patient’s needs.”
    In numerous writings, Dr. Emanuel chastises physicians for thinking ONLY about their own patient’s needs.
    Dr. Emanuel also blames the Hippocratic Oath for the “overuse” of medical care.
    Dr. Emanuel believes that medical students should be trained “to provide socially sustainable, cost-effective care.”

    See: “The Complete Lives System”, now part of America’s healthcare system.

    • http://leazsingh.blogspot.ca/ Lea Singh

      This is a very interesting lead, thank you for adding it to the debate!

    • notme123

      Very interesting, thanks..But of course, this does not apply to Dr. Emanuel and all the other elites.

    • http://www.stubbornthings.org NAHALKIDES

      Very important. This is individualism vs. collectivism, plain and simple, and Emanuel is a collectivist.

  • The AntiAllah

    In the context of this article, real freedom is freedom from religion, especially Catholicism and Islam. Would that I was born into a world without religion.

    • patrioticCanadian

      You sir are an idiot to wish away Christianity. It’s secular atheists that are destroying freedom. Besides atheism is the new religion and should be treated with as much hostility as its treats Christianity. As for Islam I agree with you.

      • The AntiAllah

        I sent you a reply longer than the following but the moderators took exception to some of it apparently. I fail to see what they could have objected to and I am looking into the matter. Here is a shorter version of what I wrote. I left out what I thought could have troubled their terribly sensitive little minds. As for you calling me an idiot, my mind is far too big to bother about such a trivial slight.

        “Religious faith is a cognitive illness. The human mind is not equipped to constantly struggle with belief in the unbelievable, without at the same time inducing all sorts of explicit and subtle psychological and psycho-social distress. Christianity would do well to dispense with the doctrines of the resurrection and the virgin birth. A new Christianity would hopefully result and the world would be better for it. Muslims believe they have The Truth, Christians believe they have The Truth. Indication enough that neither have The Truth, whatever
        “The Truth” could possibly mean here. There have been and are many atheists that have been and are exceptional human beings with “religion” as it should be, in touch with natural reality as we know it to be, in touch with human reality as we know it to be, merged completely with the animal world, being as we are a species of Ape. I count myself among deeply “religious” atheists. The human race doesn’t need religion. The evil that Islam is, is due to religious faith. The failure of Christianity to usher in a new world after two thousand years is due to religious faith. Science is all the human race has got going for it. I will constrain myself here by saying that I am glad to be an “idiot” wishing away Christianity in its current form in the hope that it will grow up and mature into something that will really be
        of benefit for ALL humankind.” One need only watch children at play to gain all the faith one needs for the future well-being of the world and all that is in it.

        • bob smith

          Spoken like a true navel-gazing Homosexual whose only desire is the need for thought control and the restrictions of other’s beliefs that do not conform to your Homosexual viewpoint of the world.

          • The AntiAllah

            Great reply, Bob. I trust you will be going to Mass on Sunday. Now there’s thought control for you, Mass on Sunday.

          • bob smith

            I will do as I please. You, continue to openly express your gay rights viewpoint to the new world order as you please (as you do), I will guide those children in the yard, you as a pedophile better stay away. 45 isn’t just a number.

          • The AntiAllah

            I am not gay!! But I happen to know a gay and a lesbian that are very fine people indeed. How dare you, and how foolish of you, to call someone you don’t know personally a pedophile. I really ought to have you in court for it. Being in Australia that would be a rather difficult thing to bring about. I happen to have written a Phd on the causes and consequences of all forms of child abuse. You would be hard pressed to find someone who knows more about pedophilia than I do. Really, really, moronic of you!! Really, really insensitive of you!! Like I said above, I am out of here! I only came back to make a copy of my comments. You f..ing idiot!!

          • bob smith

            If you retread your tripe the message is clear, you have issues too numerous too type. Your rose coloured glasses need a wash. Move on and spare the children in doing so. Remember, suicide is a viable option for miscreants as you.

          • Dcrypter .

            Your God glasses might be a little foggy also.

          • Dcrypter .

            Wow! How does anything that Anti said have anything to do with sexuality. You my friend are projecting.

        • unionville

          Watch children at play who have lax parents who have not socialized them and you will come away with a different opinion.

          Science has given us eugenics and the notion that some are more fit than others for survival. Religion has taught us to value even those who are born imperfect and to cherish them as children of God.

          • The AntiAllah

            I am in fact the victim of a totally dysfunctional family and still struggle on a daily basis with its traumatic legacy, yet I have grown up quite well despite it all, and religion has had nothing whatsoever to do with it. To the contrary, the scientific understanding of trauma and its many nasty consequences has proven to be of great benefit to me and many, many others. Many children grow up in “religious”: families and have to struggle their whole lives making sense of it all, along with the trauma that such families can induce in the name of “God.” Eugenics is an evil and I would fight it strenuously if it stuck up its ugly head near me. At the same time, I have nothing but deep compassion for those many unfortunate people who did poorly in the gene lottery, not to speak of those women, for instance, who feel compelled to have their breasts removed because they inherited a few nasty genes.

          • uleaveuswithnoalternative

            Anti, you already have freedom from religion!
            As an adult no one can force you to attend a church or synagogue, no one can force you to contribute to a religious organization or observe the tenets of any religion.

            The problem that most people have with atheists is their fanatical insistence that others MUST approve and finance their beliefs, e.g. all tax payers must pay for their abortions and birth control or that doctors and nurses have no right to their own belief system when they refuse to euthanize patients, perform abortions or prescribe abortifacient drugs.

            Atheists and all thinking people should understand that when government mandates, legislates and regulates conscience, what’s good for atheists today can just as easily be turned against them tomorrow.

          • The AntiAllah

            I wasn’t raised a Catholic, I raised myself. As for the rest, it is not worth responding to. I am rather tired of it all around here and I see that I am wasting my time with religious faith heads. I am out of here and moving on to greener pastures. You had better hope that St. Francis the Pretender doesn’t inadvertently invite Islam to take up residence in the Vatican in order to “save” the world. In my opinion, the greatest sin a human being can commit is to “believe” in the unbelievable.

          • Dcrypter .

            You may want to read your religious text again because there is very little in there that says anything about valuing about a person unless it is in your favour or in favour of your wallet.

          • unionville

            The bible is full of scriptures concerning God valuing His creation. And that we in turn are to express that love through His Holy Spirit. It says nothing about doing it for favor or money.

            Matthew 10:29
            What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.

            Luke 12:7
            And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

            I John 4:10
            10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.…

          • Dcrypter .

            Translation to Matthew 10:29 = 2Sparrows = 1 Copper, but if 1 dies the other is worthless.
            Translation to Luke 12:7 = reference from Matthew 10:29 your valuation is better than a flock of sparrows.
            Translation to John 4:10 = But God loves you.
            Your first 2 references are comparing to money. Your third one is nothing more than a; ‘see what he did for us’.

            I’m sorry but using a Bible as a source to reference anything is a bad idea, as it is full of contradictions and hypocritical statements. Also your God book “values” men higher than women. Women are seen as property and can be forcibly purchased. And it is condoned in your book.

          • unionville

            Is English not your first language? You said that there was “very little” in my “religious text” that says anything about “valuing” a person unless it is in “your favour or in favour” of my “wallet”. The scriptures I quoted proved you wrong. They clearly show the value that God places on people and how we are to likewise love and value them in the same way. Without compensation or personal gain. Perhaps it is you who should show me where the bible supports your contention.

            I’ve been studying the bible for years. I don’t find it contradictory or hypocritical. I find that man is the one who possesses those qualities. God does not value men higher than women. However many men have valued themselves of greater value than women. And because man is stronger, he has been able to enforce his will over women. Quote me the scripture where God acts like a man and does the same.

          • Dcrypter .

            This talks about slavery which is condoned in the Bible (valuing about a person unless it is in your favour) or in (favour of your wallet.) This talks about how people are compared to money. These concepts are discussed over and over again in the Bible. And statements about God loves everybody. You might want to check the stories about Noah/Job/Abraham (willing to kill his son). Those myths are not about an all loving God.

            ” Without compensation or personal gain.” Yes, God demands worship or eternal punishment. So yes it is for personal gain.

            “I don’t find it contradictory or hypocritical.”

            You have an all knowing God, then he runs sick experiments when he should already know how it end. Myth of Job. That story alone meets both criteria.

            “Is English not your first language?” Why would you even ask that question. If it’s because I used the spelling favour instead of favor is because favour with a U is the Canadian/British spelling.

          • unionville

            I asked if english was your first language because you replied to a post in which I said:

            (Religion has taught us to value even those who are born imperfect and to cherish them because they are children of God.)

            with this:

            “You may want to read your religious text again because there is very little in there that says anything about valuing about a person unless it is in your favour or in favour of your wallet.”

            And when I answered it definitively and showed you were wrong, you decided to change what you meant to something completely different.

            The bible does not condone slavery. It acknowledges that it exists. It exists because of man. God did not ordain it. The punishment for kidnapping and selling someone into slavery was death.

            During biblical times, people would sell themselves into slavery. It was more akin to indentured servitude. There were laws governing this type of slavery. Including that they would have to be freed after serving a certain number of years.

            God clearly loved Noah. He was the only righteous man in a violent age and he was saved by God.

            Abraham was “willing” to obey God. He knew that God had promised that it was through Isaac that his descendants would be as “numerous as the stars in the sky”. This story is the foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Christ. It had a greater purpose and that purpose was understood when God sent His son to die on the cross for mankind’s sin. Abraham representing God and Isaac representing Jesus.

            God did allow Satan to afflict Job. Just as God allows all of His children to be tested. The suffering of Job revealed his character, his patience and his steadfast faith in God. We are strengthened when we go through trials. Not when everything is going our way.

            God is all knowing. He also created man with free will. That free will is why man is in the pickle he is in. If you know anything about the bible, than you have surely read about the perfect Eden. When man disobeyed God, he brought death, destruction and suffering to the world. We are the ones who are responsible. If you want to blame God, than blame Him for that free will. Because we retain it when we leave this mortal coil. You can perhaps understand why God is particular about who He lets in.

            “Eternal punishment” is separation from God and His elect. That is what you want, isn’t it? We choose God of our own free will, because we love Him and want to be with Him.

      • Dcrypter .

        Atheism is not a religion for starters. And yes there are Atheists out there that are hostel to any and all religions, most simply disagree.

    • tagalog

      Unfortunately for your position, there is no such right to freedom FROM religion. Religion exists because it is human nature to believe in some higher power.

      That’s why there is a right to religious belief and expression, because that’s what people generally do, believe in a higher power. There is no right to freedom FROM religion because people aren’t generally atheists.

      In fact, I bet every atheist has some belief in SOME higher power of their own, which they just refuse to call “God” some other similar descriptive term. Science, for example, or rationalism.

      • The AntiAllah

        I don’t believe in a “higher power”, whatever that could possibly be referring to exaclty. Many, many, people the world over do not believe in a “higher power,” so how can believing in a “higher power” be due to human nature. Children would not grow up in the modern world believing in a “higher power” if they were left alone to grow up with their critical faculties left in tact. I fail to see how you can refer to science as a “higher power.” Science and rationalism happen to be pretty much the same thing, and rationalism and tyranny really do not go together at all. Actually, I find what you have said generally incoherent and unfounded.

        • tagalog

          It’s not incoherent or unfounded, but I agree that it DOES say things you disagree with.

          • The AntiAllah

            You need to broaden your knowledge base a little here, I believe. Can I suggest that you begin by googling “political psychopath.” Then move on to “religious” psychopath.” You should come up with something. Osama Bin Laden was both. The trouble with psychopaths is that it can be almost impossible to pin them down before it is far too late. Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Hitler … , psychopaths all, Hitler being perhaps the nastiest of all, if one can indeed make comparisons here, due to the consequences of the nasty childhood he had to deal with. Then come the secondary psychopaths (try googing it) without whom the primary ones can’t get their filthy, evil work done. So-called Muslim “extremists” are mostly secondary religious psychopaths. Psychopath — a “human being” without a conscience. The current consensus is that someone without a conscience is essentially born that way, in some cases, not all, environment lending a hand. Psychopaths are more numerous than is generally believed in my opinion. You might also consider the roles of gullibility and credulity.

          • The AntiAllah

            Re rationalism, not according to my dictionary. So the “mainstream view” is really producing a wonderful world, is it? I am an atheist because I was born an atheist, it is the natural condition of us all. Religion is a human invention that clearly hasn’t and doesn’t work, and never will because religious faith is totally out of touch with human reality and the reality of the natural world. Religious indoctrination of young children is the psychological abuse of children, the consequences of which can be as serious in later life as the psychological consequences of the sexual abuse of children. According to what I have read, atheism is on the rise and the world will be better for it. Children have the right to come into the world without having their minds tampered with by this or that ideology. Science is not an ideology, it is simply taking the world as it comes to us and attempting to comprehend it, something that it has done and is doing remarkably well. I am as “religious” as anybody can be, I just don’t have a place for psychotic phantasms in the head.

      • Dcrypter .

        How is science a higher power?

  • Damaris Tighe

    There’s a pattern across the English-speaking world of attempts to impose a single (pc) world view by force. In the US a baker was forced to supply a wedding cake to a gay couple. In Northern Ireland at the moment a bakery is being sued for refusing to provide a cake with a message supporting gay marriage in icing. In England a street preacher with a message against homosexuality was physically assaulted, but it was he who was arrested for a ‘hate crime’.

    For some on the liberal left it’s not enough to have won certain freedoms through legislation. It’s now submit to our agenda or lose your livelihood.

    • CurmudJohn

      “Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated”, Borg Queen.
      Bad as it’s getting here in US, this story and what Mark Steyn went through disabuses me of any notion of returning to the birthplace of my parents.

  • tagalog

    Where is the embarrassment found in a circumstance where a doctor refuses to prescribe some form of birth control to Woman A because of the doctor’s religious convictions? How could that possibly be embarrassing to Woman A?

    Consider the degree of “embarrassment” in going to another clinic and saying there, “The doctor in the first clinic refused to prescribe birth control for me because he has a religious objection to doing so, so I came here.” How is that embarrassing? What person of ordinary reason would find that troublesome in the slightest degree?

    • Jan de Winter

      I think we should not investigate the word ‘embarrassment’ – let’s say, it is a pain in the butt and costs extra money, too. The religiously motivated physicians still feels he is entitled to take money for his time (of not producing what the health-care system says the patient has a right to).
      I believe religion should not interfere with job performance – he has out of his own free will taken the job of physician (arguably ‘playing God’) and now this man feels so special he wants to impose his religious views on the services that he has pledged to give as a physician. So he wants all the benefits of his job but not all of the obligations.
      The word ‘sincere’ is meaningless. I know lots of sincere people with idiotic opinions – I would say ‘the more sincere, the more frightening’.
      I think religious people should be allowed to do ‘cherry-picking’ because something interferes with their beliefs. I do work which and sometimes I feel I have a different opinion about the way it is done or its very nature but if I don’t do it, I will lose my job. Sometimes I change my opinion on the content of part of my job and sometimes I am just plain wrong. Any way, just because it is my opinion (which religion is, too), I can’t refuse those aspects of my job. I don’t see why religion is so special that it gets special status. As far as I am concerned, you are free to believe whatever you want, but you are not allowed to impose your religion and cherry-pick based on religion/opinion.

      • Debbie G

        Do you think these “government” doctors should be forced to quit due to their religious convictions? Canada’s health care (which is already going down the tubes) will suffer for it. Less doctors = less availability of care.
        Sounds like you have a real grudge against physicians of any brand, not just the “religious” ones.

    • http://leazsingh.blogspot.ca/ Lea Singh

      The story of this 25-year-old woman has been repeated a zillion times in the media now, and no one has ever questioned her authenticity. However, personally I have reservations about the genuineness of Kate Desjardins. I believe her whole story to be concocted and bogus.

      For one thing, the first place she posted about her story, even before she went to the Huffington Post, was the Facebook page of a feminist group here in Ottawa called the Radical Handmaids. How did she so quickly find this group and decide that they were the right place to post her story? Most young women in her position would not be aware of such an obscure group, or think of posting to their page.

      For another thing, her story doesn’t add up. She says that she initially went to her regular doctor for birth control – but if Kyrillos was her regular doctor, he wouldn’t have been giving her birth control and she would already be well familiar with his stance. It doesn’t make sense that she claims to have been his patient.

      My suspicion is that the real story goes something like this: this woman is affiliated with the Radical Handmaids, and decided to pick on Kyrillos intentionally. The Radical Handmaids are connected to the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (linked through board members) and they want to eliminate pro-life doctors from being able to practice.

      Kyrillos (and the two prolife doctors who practice with him) hsve a sign on the door to their clinic stating their position, so that potential clients are advised that they will not prescribe birth control pills. Desjardins ignored the sign, went inside and tried to make an appointment to get birth control. She was then given the letter by Kyrillos’s receptionist, further detailing that he does not prescribe birth control. She took the letter and left, posted the letter to the Radical Handmaids, and the rest is history.

      The media has given her an incredible platform, without even an ounce of doubt as to her story or her contrived claim of embarrassment.

  • CaoMoo

    Well if more canadian doctprs came to practice in the US they could replace the nigerians, and middle easterners who speak english and practice medicine with all the grace of a sock puppet full of rocks. seriously 4 nurses to put in a catheter last time I went in and I told them what they were doing wrong. their boss had to do it bringing the total to 5.

  • Richard G Moss

    I certainly would like to know ahead of time what are the religious beliefs of my doctors. What if he believes that as a Moslem he should not treat infidels? If Catholics are against birth control and want to fill the world with little Catholics, surely thy would be only too pleased to limit the reproduction of others? A great many “ifs” but when we as patients know where we stand we can always get a second opinion!

    • uleaveuswithnoalternative

      Sure, Catholics want to “limit the reproduction of others.”
      That must explain the “shortage” of birth control available in every drug store, supermarket and variety store in the country.

      • Richard G Moss

        There is always mail-order!

  • Douglas Mayfield

    As someone who is by choice not personally religious, I still view freedom of religion as crucial because it implies freedom of thought and personal action.

    That is, assuming we respect the rights of others to do the same, the government shall not control our personal choices, including our choice of religion. We should all be able to worship freely as we, as individuals, choose to do so.

    The real villain in the Canadian debate on the religious rights of doctors is the entitlement mentality of the Canadian public.

    Based on the poll results quoted, many Canadians not only see doctors and other health care professionals as their slaves, who will be forced at gun point by the Canadian government to deliver health care when and where they want it for no cost at all, but they also demand this free health care on their terms rather on terms set by the people delivering the care.

    In such a system, you will receive your health care from unthinking bureaucratic slugs and as someone who spent 30 plus years in health care, I guarantee that this is a recipe for disaster.

    • Joey

      I was nodding along in agreement with you until you started calling birth control pills “health care.” They are not. Stop using their mendacious vocabulary.

      • Douglas Mayfield

        Birth control pills were originally discovered by a physician, so it seems reasonable to include them under the concept ‘health care’. But for purposes of this discussion, it really doesn’t matter whether one does or not.

        The law is based on precedent. Once the precedent is in place that government pays for health care, inevitably government will control health care (vicious lies from the Left wing not to the contrary).

        The movement toward government paid health care is driven by the entitlement mentality of voters who want something for nothing and who then vote for politicians who deliver ‘free health care’, whether through increasing taxes, deficit spending with its consequent inflation, enslaving health care workers, or some combination of all three.

        Once you take health care decision making away from physicians and other health care providers and their patients, you end up with a health care system which is filled with lazy wasteful bureaucrats who are entirely unresponsive to any patient needs.

        The VA system in the United States and national health care systems around the world are current examples. In the United States under ACA or Obamacare, that’s where we’re headed.

        Despite Marxian driven propaganda, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

        • Jan de Winter

          Here is a statistic that should start change the mood from emotionally-driven and politically and fear motivated arguing to fact-based arguments: At least one in 12 patients who die has been diagnosed incorrectly, according to a 2003 analysis in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

          That is just the number of people who have died and it does not include the many who survived, were crippled for life with terrifying side-effects, whose hospital bills were tripled (because physicians have the right to be wrong and still want to get paid outrageous salaries (The mean annual salary of a MD physician specialist is $175,011 in the US, and $272,000 for surgeons.)
          Physicians are afraid that their monopoly and privileged lifestyles and almost God-like status are re-examined and that they are being found wanting. Physicians self-serving opinions on healthcare should be examined based on facts, not on status ‘I am a physician, therefore… blah blah) – remember 1 out of 12 deaths is due to their own incompetence – if a non-physician would do that, they would go to jail.

          ‘Obamacare’ finds almost universal appreciation among Republicans who enjoy the benefits.(http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-poll.php)

          Physicians can use AI-driven software that is vastly better at diagnosing and thereby save time (they would have to study 120 hours/week just to keep up with the latest research that the computer already knows).

    • http://leazsingh.blogspot.ca/ Lea Singh

      Yes, the entitlement mentality is thick as sludge here in Ontario. I believe that you are right and that it is a result of state-funded health care. People have the attitude that since the government is in charge of health care and doctors are paid by the province, then doctors are public servants who should do as they are told. In effect, doctors have been turned into bureaucrats.

  • wileyvet

    Progressives, leftists, Bolsheviks, call them what you will, have done their level best to undermine, denigrate and derogate the Christian faith for 100 years. We know that the Bolsheviks of Russia were Godless, and set out to destroy the Russian Orthodox Church, in order to create a new faith, that of Communism. They had no scruples, moral restraint was wiped away and millions were killed implementing the communist ethos and pursuit of the communist state utopia. National Socialism did the same in Germany. Both Godless ideologies. Both examples of a man made reason to perfect society and man, led instead to the debasement of human beings, both victim and perpetrator. In both cases it was the so called intellectuals who believed themselves so above the quaint and antiquated beliefs of the Christian faith. They would make themselves Gods on earth, yet remove the moral impediment of the faith, to unleash an unbridled orgy of savagery upon their fellow man. Unfortunately the heirs to such thinking, leftists of all stripes today have created an unholy alliance with Islam. Suddenly these Godless enemies of liberty have no problem with religious beliefs when presented as the religion of peace. The same leftists who are outraged by visual symbols of Christianity have no revulsion for the outward signs of Islam; chiefly the Burka. Once they warned us of the risk of a Christian theocracy replacing elected governments, yet now welcome with open arms a doctrine that truly does wish to replace our Charter of Rights and Freedoms with Sharia Law. Suddenly the supremacist dogma of Islam is apparently no threat, and leftists have rushed to embrace Islam, obfuscate its teachings, and bend over backwards to accommodate Muslims, in Canada and elsewhere. At the same time denouncing critics of Islam as “racist” bigoted and “Islamophobes”. No rational enquiry is permitted into Islam, only shouting and discrediting opponents. Islam is completely incompatible with democracy, freedom of conscience, thought and speech, so it is no surprise the left embraces it. What these oh so smart leftists don’t realize as they make common cause with Islam to destroy western civilization is that Islam and Muslims, other than using them as useful idiots, have no use for Godless fools. Their fate will be an awful doom, according to Allah. Their choices will be conversion or Dhimmi status. Only two choices for them, since we know they won’t fight. Leftism and Islam are both morally and intellectually bankrupt. Yet we shall see where lefties stand when Muslim doctors refuse to attend to women, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs, Muslim apostates or homosexuals. Of course then they will say religious freedoms must be protected, and we must respect the beliefs of the adherents of Muhammad. Anything less would be racist and Islamophobic and grossly intolerant and Un-Canadian.

    • Jan de Winter

      Wileyvet, you are writing the exact same thing that any Muslim would (change some wordings here and there). They have the same sentiments towards Christianity and these sentiments are what leads to war (which is government sponsored and military organized – wouldn’t any Marxist be proud of that?).
      Since religions are mostly fear-driven (as you letter), I subscribe to a more aspiring world view of the people, by the people, and for the people: humanism. This includes that everybody has the right to his opinion (e.g. religion) but cannot impose their opinion on others or cherry-pick their responsibilities (on the job, as a citizen, etc.)
      It is not that difficult to remove your fear and start living in a more positive way. Try it some time!
      Cheers

  • http://www.stubbornthings.org NAHALKIDES

    The squashing of the individual physician’s conscience is the necessary and direct result of transforming health care into a government-controlled “right”. For if the patient has the “right” to the health care he wants, the doctor can have no rights at all.

  • tagalog

    You mistake the Constitutional right to freedom of speech with the private website freedom to restrict speech as the web owners see fit.

    • The AntiAllah

      So you are saying that the so-called “private website freedom to restrict speech” cannot be a violation of a Constitutional right of freedom of speech and expression? Really! What is the point of having the Constitutional right if it doesn’t extend into every nook and cranny of society?

      • tagalog

        Because the Constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech extends only to Congress and, by the Fourteenth Amendment, is incorporated to extend to the states as well. Jeez, I thought everyone knew about that. It’s pretty common knowledge.

        • The AntiAllah

          I am not an American, so it is not common knowledge to me. In any case, the freedom of speech and expression essentially has nothing to do with Constitutions, and whatever. The “right” comes with us when we are born. It is as essential to the functioning of a healthy polity as breathing is. Any individual, society, or political group that even begins to think of interfering with it is a sure sign that something really foul is afoot.

          • tagalog

            Well, except that in one’s house the master of the house can insist on limiting speech and conduct if he chooses without regard to anyone else’s claim to a right. The same with any business or any private individual.

  • uleaveuswithnoalternative

    So everyone should just leave their religious principles inside of the church/
    synagogue?
    That’s what Obama and his minions have said.
    As an RN, I have the right NOT to perform or participate in procedures that I find morally objectionable.

    If people of faith left their religious beliefs behind when they went out into the world, there would be no food banks, religious based hospitals, clinics or nursing homes, soup kitchens wouldn’t exist, neither would homeless shelters, certain alcohol and drug rehabs, schools, charitable organizations that aid disaster victims, and the list goes on…

    • Joe The Gentile

      I see you up-voted yourself. I didn’t know you were allowed to do that.

      I’ll answer for the consequences of the policies I propose. This policy I propose won’t in any way stop or inhibit people creating ‘food banks, religious based hospitals, clinics or nursing homes, soup kitchens’ and so forth.

      Would you answer for the consequences of the policy you propose? How do you answer the Muslim doctor who, for religious reasons, only wants to work on patients of his or her own sex? The policy you propose allows him to refuse.

      • uleaveuswithnoalternative

        The core issue isn’t about a religious exemption but about government regulating health care.

        Using your own logic, what happens when government mandates drugs or treatments that you find unacceptable?
        In order to contain costs, the UK utilizes the Liverpool Protocol. Those deemed too old or too ill are slowly euthanized by morphine and withholding food/fluids.

        I worked for more than 20 years in the Middle East and saw practices performed on women that I wouldn’t have performed on my dog but if GOVERNMENT can regulate the kind of health care doctors give to their patients, then the birth control that you demand doctors prescribe today, may eventually turn into the forced sterilization or
        euthanization of individuals tomorrow.

        • Joe The Gentile

          I see you haven’t answered my question. No-one has answered it here. Denial and evasion are the only responses I’m getting on that one.

  • Joey

    The effect of this law will be to drive doctors from their practices, thus increasing doctor to patient ratios, which are already pretty bad in Canada.

    Some might argue that if you live in backwoods Canada, and there’s only one doctor, then he should be forced to give you birth control pills because he’s the only game in town and you can go nowhere else. That’s nonsense. If his only other option is to shut down his practice, then the tiny backwoods Canadian village will have NO doctor. All because some whiney entitled Canadian version of Sandra Fluke couldn’t bear living in a free country.

  • Sean

    So what happens if I’m a devout Muslim doctor and I refuse to administer my medicine and practice to a woman? Ah ha, I suppose you respect my religious beliefs?

  • Jan de Winter

    ‘uleaveusnoalternative’, your ‘what if’ arguments are meaningless. It is like ‘what if the person ringing the door is a serial killer’ as an excuse to kill that person without even asking who he is. So, they are officially out the window – all of them.
    Your views are only dictated by your beliefs and fears and not by any common sense, relevant laws, or understanding.
    However, let’s imagine this ‘what if’ scenario: your physician is opposed to inoculation on religious grounds, does not even bother to inform you about this possibility and your child gets polio. This is a possible what-if scenario.
    In the case of birth-control, the physician can explain that is included in the standard package and he can discuss the benefits and/or ‘religious benefits’ (whatever that could possibly mean). This ensures that the physicians religious views do not limit the patients rights (i.e. access to the full package of health benefits in accordance to what we believe as a democracy – unlike your what-if scenarios). Limiting patients choice because of the physicians personal religious views is tantamount to imposing his religious views on those patients, which is in in direct violation of ‘freedom of religion’.

  • Shockrgod1

    Not to sound too much like an a-hole but I think this would be a great way to watch natural selection in action. Just saying…

  • DavidG

    Really glad to see/hear Mr. Horowitz on Truth Revolt that’s a GREAT site! I don’t always agree with him attacking Diana West/American Betrayal book. His site discovertheorgs.org as the very best/most excellent tool to identify/name all of the Communosocialists and organization,true history and more! It’s the only ” Bible” for identifying them!! Please use the contact form to report anyone/organization all Commie/Antisemites worldwide! I reported Alex Jones/Infowars as a blazing Antisemite and other NWO GOP’s. Yes the Church is the first/original/biggest Commie/Antisemite for mind/market $hare and invented most all of the disgusting ” Jewish” stereotypes still used today! I hope he adds/has a section on our extreme RW NWO GOP’s that are the very same as the left as we now see. Just Google the history of Magic and see the ancient coin operated Church as it’s biggest sponsor. Just can’t miss the Church’s recent/new Ratline deal for ChrIslam just like before and a term I didn’t invent! Then Google the pending Congressional HB 3741 to see their mass/genocidal intent! Sorry, but nobody ” died” for people to continue their horrific crimes ( reduced to ” just Sins”) and be “forgiven” in the blink of any eye. Yep, they ” stole JC for mind/market $hare and been trying to kill all of the ” witness’” ever since!….

  • Dcrypter .

    This seems like such a foolish argument to even talk about. A doctor has the duty to offer any and all treatments that are available. Now for those doctors with religious objections I can understand them to a point. The birth control pill objection is weak. The doctor isn’t the one taking the pills so how would that affect the doctor (what if the pills where not used for the birth control aspect but for hormone treatments). The abortion procedure is an interesting one too. Not all doctors can or do them. So a religious objection here doesn’t hold any weight either. If a doctor hold their religious objections so tightly they shouldn’t have become a doctor as this single field of medicine is now limited.

  • Guano Genesis

    The question used in the poll makes it seem as though the doctor can block the patient from receiving the desired appropriate medical treatment, not merely having the liberty to choose not to personally provide the treatment. Poll questions can and are phrased to obtain specific responses, not the truth.