Friday, May 5, 2017

CMDS Toronto 2017 Conscience Protection and Euthanasia Notes

These are notes I took from the afternoon today.  Larry the CMDS Executive Director and Alberto the lawyer for the fight for conscience spoke at length. I only captured a bit of the jist of the matter.  There was so much to hear and so manny slides. But I share this here.  Please forgive the typos and missed bits.  I trust there’s enough left of the very fine presentations to appreciate all that is transpiring in this matter right now.

Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience
June 2016-May 2017

Presentation by Larry Worthen, Executive Director

Help Protect Conscience Rights Across Canada

-founded Jan 2016
Enterprises Consultants and Ensight Consultation
Consultants on retainer
coalition - ‘taking a patients right violates at least one of the following:
Hippocratic Oath
Religions convictions

Evangelical fellowship of canada
Catholic society
Salvation army
Canadian Physics for Life
Archdiocese of Vancouver
Achdiocese of Toronto

Bill C-14 passed June 2015 legalized euthanasia
-huge shift in medical care in Canada
-must acknowledge the stress doctors are under
-profession had shifted and was supporting something completely foreign
-intense disappointment and concern
-Margaret Cottle presentation and poetry - got into the hearts
-grieving the change
-if we are to survive these changes the Lord will pull us together
-professional reputation is important to physicians and hard to be vulnerable with each other
-physicians expressed the isolation and feeling the seismic shift , that some colleagues and some patients were no longer in line with them that they were no longer in line with this (euthanasia).

since June 2016
Federal government lobbying
‘nothing in this section would require an individual to provide or assist in the provision of MAID’
conservative private members Bill unsuccessful
ecumenical press conference - Christians, Jews, Muslims all religious people represented saying they don’t like this.
-Christians have been the greatest barrier to success - a lot of Christians are so beaten down by this culture and we give up…..don’t believe this is the Lord’s will for Canada but we’re all brain washed with this whole secularist agenda - we’re programmed into slavery
=Senate Consience amendment defeated
-Christians of all denominations in power positions voted against us….they have their own conscience problems - they feel bowing down to power is better than to follow faith..
-15-20 meetings in Toronto with Ontario officials
discussed palliative care as well as individual and facilities protection
the abortion issue is under the euthanasia issue
conscience rights, the CPSO, College, requires doctors to provide a referral for medical assistance in dying -
we were faced with perception that we would not accept LGBT community
The Cardinal advised them that Catholics and Christians were among the first to respond to Aids in Canada
No other foreign jurisdiction requires MAID referrals
Ontarion hyman Rights and Charter of Rights and Freedoms protect people from discrimination based on religion conscience or creed
CPSO experts insist conscientiously objections phsyciins leave family medicine, palliative care and move to cosmetic surgery or pathology - this attitude is embedded within the structure
Udo Schulen - ‘doctors must put patient interests before their own integrity”  If this means doctors leave the practice of medicine so be it.
Explicit support from Conservatives and to a lesser extent NDP
50 meetings between physicians, MPPs Cabinet ministers and senior beurocrats.  Cabinet was impressed that doctors would leave work and come to lobby, that there were young and female and coloured doctors involved.
Legislation 84 Dec. 7 16 - opportunity to include amendment
Ontario announced a ‘care coordination service’….patients can access but physicians must provide referral

Call for Conscience Campaign
-educate Ontarians
made 3 min video
presentation resources - sample pulpit announcement
information for churches to get voters to write MPP
Christians haven’t been good in general in these battles
the others are activitists and their people are activists and they will support and write for a particular candidate, they tow the party line, they all work together, they’re better organized.
the Christians - are splintered and don’t talk to each other , catholics don’t talk to catholics in next parish, we’re only learning to be collaborative and activist using the techniques that have been winning against us, we are so individualistic
we were first using the same people used in election campaigns, working with doctors, faith communities, data base of 25000 supporters
our problem was we had few doctors
we allow our petty differences stand in the way of working together as Christians doing what the Lord wants to do through us.

present data base is 28,000
estimated 25, 000 letters went to mrs
130 member churches contacted at least twice by evangelical fellowship of canada
meetings held at synagogues
All chaotic bisihops in On participated
$40,000 raised from web site for legal expenses
Some liberal media were supportive, unheard of in Canada

Conservative proposed amendments
Government didn’t support amendments
Physicians are still required to provide referrals

Care Coordination Service
-patient can access directly
MOHLTC says physicians must call to the name of a doctor who will do assessment and make connection between doctor and patient and provide relevant information to the other physicians
-College sees you as criminal if you do not participate -
Dr. Cottle - CMPA at Palliative Care a year ago - lawyer said patients had charter right to have - lawyer said ‘we’d defend you but don’t expect it to end well’
hence need for court case as a group

Lessons Learned
-we made progress lobbying
-Christians care about conscience and will write letters to their MPP”s
-our attitude can lead us to limit what God can do
-Doctors most effective media approach is
—-describe the emotional impact of being forced to be involved in killing a patient
—-Secularism has replaced pluralism among the governing elites.

Anyone who wants to be a doctor , lawyer or teacher who is a Christian might as well forget it.

We’re bilingual and we operate in secular world and Christian world but there are these people who believe only in the Secular Religion.

It’s evil and immoral.

It’s a spiritual battle.

The ‘silent majority’ must be silent no longer
must come ‘out of the closet’ in the public square and professional
Requires adopting the mindset of the beatitudes
‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you MT 5:11-12

This is an inconvenient truth in the scriptures.

We must stop being anonymous Christians

We as Christian are afraid to get out of bed to face the day but do because we must to receive the blessings the Lord has promised.

Alberto, the lawyer,  presentation
Update on the Case
2 challenges - physician obligations
assisted suicides

named the leading Rabbi’s, Ethicists and Researchers, world famous persons who showed that in other jurisdictions there was no requirement for doctors to make referrals and that euthanasia operated without difficulty.
conscientious objection - historical approach given - maintaining the physicians moral objectivity is essential to the profession
countering the narrative that Christians are anti abortion , anti euthanasia, anti LGBT , ant Homeless and all these people will be abandoned but this is not the case
no other regime in the world requires conscientious objectors to refer people
a group of pro abortion people came forward insisting that if doctors aren’t forced to refer then vulnerable people will be without abortion or euthanasia yet despite this bias and this propaganda the evidence doesn’t support this.
nurse expert gave opinion confirming that providing referrals for something that is morally repugnant causes equivalent of ptsd - ‘moral distress’
health care system in Ontario can and should be able to accommodate moral objection
our material is 21 volumes of evidence
most of arguments done in writing
lots of paper
6-12 months for decision
we can win but if we don’t win we will go to the supreme court and that could be another 5 years

I enjoyed meeting and talking later with Dr. Jim Lane a BC Physician who has involved himself in this whole area of physicians of  conscience

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