Ontario doctors in court challenge to referral rule for services that clash with their beliefs
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, January 21, 2019 8:12AM EST
TORONTO - A group of Ontario doctors will be in court today to challenge a ruling that found physicians must give referrals for medical services that clash with their moral or religious beliefs.
The five doctors and three professional organizations are appealing a divisional court decision that upheld a policy issued by the province's medical regulator.
They argue the lower court made several errors.
The group includes the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada, the Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians' Societies and Canadian Physicians for Life.
They're asking Ontario's highest court to strike down the policy, which requires doctors who object to treatments such as assisted dying or abortions to refer patients to someone who can provide the service.
Last year, the divisional court found that while the policy does limit doctors' religious freedom, the breach is justified because the benefits to the public outweigh the cost to doctors.