Faith and Access: The Conflict Inside Catholic Hospitals

Why should publicly funded hospitals get to limit access on religious grounds?

BY WENDY GLAUSER
Feb. 23, 2022 / MARCH-APRIL 2022 issue, Walrus Magazine

IN THE FALL OF 2020, Susan Camm was among a small group of employees touring a brand new seventeen-storey tower at St. Michael’s Hospital, in downtown Toronto. She liked the large single-patient rooms—a hallmark of modern hospital design—and the big windows that filled the space with sunshine. But something caught her eye: a brass crucifix on the wall. “I had an almost visceral reaction,” she recalls.

Camm, who was then a clinical manager at the hospital, had come across crucifixes at St. Michael’s before. But most had been taken down over the years. What shocked her is that the Christian symbols were in brand new rooms. This wasn’t a decision someone had made decades ago; it was one made in 2020. Later, when she had the chance to enter a patient room alone, she dragged a stool over to the crucifix, stood up, and tried to pull the figure off the wall. Unlike the ones in older rooms, it wasn’t simply hanging on a nail. She would have needed a chisel to pry it off.

Continued: https://thewalrus.ca/catholic-hospitals/


Why Can Canadian Doctors Still Deny Access To Abortion—And Other Healthcare?

The practice of conscientious objection means doctors can refuse or deflect requests for a variety of services, including abortion—and in many provinces, they're not even obligated to provide a referral.

Tracey Lindeman
Updated July 22, 2021

Chantal had already performed all the mental gymnastics.

About eight years ago, the then-23-year-old woman from southern Alberta had accidentally become pregnant, and weighed her options. She settled on having an abortion, the best choice for her in that moment of her life. She booked an appointment with her doctor, one of only a small handful in her community, to request a referral—a requirement in Alberta then. When the time came to meet, she sat in his office and laid her cards out.

Continued: https://www.chatelaine.com/opinion/canadian-doctors-deny-access-to-abortion/


Ontario’s top court rules religious doctors must offer patients an ‘effective referral’ for assisted dying, abortion

Ontario’s top court rules religious doctors must offer patients an ‘effective referral’ for assisted dying, abortion

Kelly Grant Health reporter
Published May 15, 2019

Physicians who object on moral grounds to providing health-care services such as assisted dying, abortion and birth control must offer their patients an “effective referral” to another doctor, Ontario’s highest court has ruled.

In a unanimous decision released Wednesday, the Court of Appeal for Ontario reaffirmed a lower court’s conclusion that it was a reasonable limit on the religious freedom of doctors to require them to connect their patients with willing providers of medical assistance-in-dying (MAID) and other contentious health services.

Continued: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-religious-doctors-must-make-referrals-for-assisted-dying-abortion/