Pediatrician talks with the mother of a child in the emergency room in 2014 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. CNS photo/Bob Roller

Physicians offer support to pro-life undergrads

  • October 16, 2017

For the first time in nearly 20 years of pro-life medical conferences, Canadian Physicians for Life will offer a pre-conference event for students thinking about applying to medical schools.

“There’s a growing number of pro-life undergrads who are communicating to us that they’re not considering medicine anymore,” said Physicians for Life executive director and general counsel Faye Sonier. “They don’t want to enter a field where they’re fearful that they will be discriminated against because of their pro-life views.”

The annual Canadian Physicians for Life conference runs Oct. 27-29 in Mississauga. The assisted suicide debate and Ontario’s decision to force doctors to refer for assisted dying has led to questions about whether doctors are even allowed to bring their conscience to work, said Sonier. A career spent defending a moral position is a daunting prospect for many young people.

“I don’t want to grow old in a Canada where there’s no pro-life doctors,” Sonier said.

Physicians for Life has launched a number of programs to support doctors and medical students who believe abortion and assisted suicide are outside the bounds of medicine, including a crisis line a doctor or med student can call when they’re in a situation where they feel like their religious or conscience rights are being violated.

Physicians for Life is also talking to the admissions boards of medical schools to make sure students are not being screened out because of their ethical convictions.

“We want the students of course to be evaluated on (their) skills and abilities,” said Sonier. “Not to face discrimination because they are themselves pro-life.”

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