Compelled speech, value attestations, and religious rights thrown under the bus seem to be in our Nation’s headlines on a weekly basis these days.
I heard recently on the radio that several doctors lost their bid in an Ontario Court to not be compelled to refer patients for doctor-assisted suicide. In June of 2016, Canada’s MAID law enshrined doctor assisted death as the right of every Canadian. Some doctors fought for the right not to participate nor refer patients to other medical practitioners who would assist in their patient’s death. These doctors lost their fight. The judge admitted their “religious rights” were being violated for the greater good of society. My heart sank.
A Call for Conscience Campaign (February - March)
This should concern us all. Physicians and medical practitioners no longer (at least in Ontario and possibly elsewhere in Canada) have freedom of conscience or religious rights to refuse participation in assisting people to end their lives. Their rights should be defended.
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) with the Coalition for HealthCARE are calling on all people of faith to a “Conscience Campaign”, especially in Ontario, in February and March 2018.
The following plea comes from the EFC:
Today in Ontario:
Physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other caregivers are compelled to participate in euthanasia against their moral convictions, by providing an effective referral for their patients. Euthanasia advocacy groups are threatening court action against faith-based hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices unless they allow euthanasia on their premises. Only a third of the population has access to adequate palliative care, which leaves many without real choice on end of life issues.
Please take the time to review a short, three-minute video that introduces you to physicians and nurses who are being forced to choose between their conscience and their careers.
How you can help:
Ask your church members to pray for this campaign. We need the Lord to intervene so that doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care workers will be able to continue caring for patients, without being compelled to act against their deeply held beliefs. Pray for our province and our country to uphold freedom of conscience and religion.
Encourage your congregation to write to your MPP and to the candidates for the 2018 Ontario election. You can write to your MPP now using the web site www.canadiansforconscience.ca/Ontario. While the EFC has already expressed our concerns to the government, it is helpful and compelling when Christians at the grass roots level demonstrate their deep concern about this issue, as well.
Engage your community.
The Coalition has developed free resources to equip your community to participate, including announcements, bulletin inserts, and more. The resources are available here. If you have any questions, please contact Kelly Cameron, the Campaign Support Worker for the 2018 Ontario Call for Conscience Campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org, (647) 228-5411.
Please prayerfully consider what your part might be in February - March 2018 in this “Conscience Campaign”. Consider how you might be engaged. Pray about it. Don’t remain silent. Thank you.