Appeal Court: Doctors Have To Give Referrals For Services They Oppose
May 17, 2019
Ontario’s highest court ruled Wednesday that doctors in the province must give referrals for medical services that clash with their religious beliefs, calling it a compromise that balances the rights of physicians and the interests of patients.
In an interview with AdvocateDaily, Toronto health lawyer Brooke Shekter says the effective referral requirement is crucial to enabling the public’s access to timely health care, especially in circumstances where time is of the essence, such as where a patient is looking for medical assistance in dying (MAiD), an abortion or birth control.
“Doctors must remember that, as the appeal court said, s.7 of the Charter, ‘confers a right to equitable access to such medical services as are legally available in Ontario and provided under the provincial health-care system,’ to patients,” says Shekter, associate with TTL Health Law.