The battle against the Culture of Death continues here in North America, but in a particular way, here in Canada. As we speak, government officials, activists, and supporters of this culture are trying to force physicians to prescribe birth control, and refer patients for abortion or sterilization as requested. It oppresses those with pro-life values in the field of medicine, regardless of religion. It forces the hand of doctors to either submit to the current trends of so-called “modern day medicine” or give up their careers as life saving doctors that hundreds of people rely on.
Despite what is commonly believed and promoted in our culture, the aforementioned family planning methods are not something that assist in the overall well being of the patient. Ironically, these medical treatments do not heal anything, and in many cases, negatively impact the patient. The birth control pill, for example, has been linked to various cancers. Doctors who refuse to prescribe these medical treatments are doing so to aid the patient, not to impose their religious opinion on them. Essentially, there is an attempt being made to force doctors to do that which they feel is immoral for the sake of the immediate convenience of the patient.
There are many compassionate people who become doctors to save lives, help people stay healthy, and recover from illness. If doctors in Canada are forced to act against what they medically and morally believe to be unethical, many will quit their jobs, so as to avoid compromising their values. If this were to happen, would people say, for example “there goes Dr. Smith. She used to practice medicine in this town, but because she was going to be forced to prescribe the pill, she gave up her job. It’s too bad. If she had just submitted to the wishes of her patients, she would still be practicing medicine.” Becoming a doctor should not require making decisions that are morally wrong and that negatively impact the patient. It is true that there are many people in the medical profession that will deliberately skirt around what they know to be morally right in favor of doing something that will benefit their wallets. If the decision to force doctors to agree to such things against their will is what will force them out of work regardless of the work they do, then what does that say about our society as a whole?
I asked a young woman who going to school to become a doctor about her feelings on the whole situation. She said:
I’m definitely worried. You pour in so much effort into getting into medical school, then even more into getting through medical school. I am hoping to be a family doctor, partly because I’ve heard that is the type of doctor Canada is most in need of. If they change the conscience protection rules for doctors I’ll have to either practice medicine in the US or practice a specialty I don’t really want to practice but which won’t as likely require prescribing birth control. It’s frustrating and seems to be not in Canada’s best interest, since they are in need of doctors and since I hope the type of doctors Canada wants are ones who follow their consciences. History has had so many examples of doctors willing to check their consciences at the door so they can pick up their cheques from the government and those doctors are remembered as the darkest and most evil people to have practiced medicine. It is frustrating that the College of Physicians is even thinking of going in this direction, and if they do I will be forced out of practicing family medicine in Canada.
The reality is that this bill will hurt everyone! If these changes are made, doctors who still want to keep their practice will either submit, quit, or leave the country. We need to consider, how many doctors will we lose this way, especially when we are already losing doctors to other countries that will pay them a higher wage? If every doctor left their practice because of the demands of society to rob them of their freedom of conscience, our country would have less doctors, and we all know we need our valued physicians, especially family doctors.
We live in a country that claims to allow freedom of religion, but this freedom is in danger of being lost. A physician should be free to make clear to their patients, prior to their admittance, the services they will not provide due to moral and ethical reasons. They should also not be forced to make a referral to another doctor for these services, for the same reasons. In our society, we are told that we can speak freely, love freely, and do as we please, but as soon as we speak the truth, we are told to keep it to ourselves. These double standards need to stop. As Catholics, we need to pray for and encourage these establishments with pro-life and Christian doctors, technicians, pharmacists, nurses, etc. to stand strong during this challenging time. We pray that they will be able to continue to follow their conscience in order that they can practice medicine in a way that truly upholds the dignity of the human person.
Immaculate heart of Mary, Pray for us
Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
Please stay tuned for the second installment on this topic of freedom of conscience by Julie, coming this Friday.
Further Reading :
Posted on August 11, 2014, in abortion, Catholic, Christian, Christian Life, education, faith, family, miscarriage, NFP, pro-life and tagged Contraception, doctors in canada, pro-chice, Pro-Life. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.