Readers Speak Out: May 21, 2023

  • May 19, 2023

Effective balance

Ontario’s effective referral policy that Quinton Amundson refers to in “Euthanasia document authors’ biases questioned” was upheld by the Court of Appeal because it was found to serve the important social and public benefit of ensuring equitable access to health care. 

In a 74-page decision, Chief Justice George R. Strathy explained the effective referral policy is justifiable under the Constitution and functions to protect patients. We recognize and support the individual rights of clinicians to object, for conscience reasons, to providing medical assistance in dying (MAiD) or other medical treatments. Similarly, patients have the right to access health care in a timely manner.

The burden of self-referral can result in delays in accessing time-sensitive medical care, particularly for vulnerable patients. An effective referral does not guarantee a patient will receive a treatment, nor does it signal that the objecting health care provider endorses or supports the treatment. An effective referral strikes a balance between a clinician’s conscientious objection to a treatment and a patient’s right to health care. Most importantly, it ensures access to care is continuous and non-discriminatory.   

Sarah Dobec

Dying With Dignity Canada


Sorry not enough

Your May 7 editorial, “Beware loose lips,” sadly completely misses the point. The issue isn’t about a reporter from Rebel news or Trustee Wendy Ashby’s apology. The problem in Catholic education today has nothing to do with journalism. It’s about Catholic schools in Ontario being so secularized, by equity and inclusivity policies, that a trustee believed she could make an anti-Catholic tweet and get away with it.

The editorial scolds those who dare speak out. Are we now to self-censor? And why does The Register think it’s acceptable to make fun of a Rebel News reporter? Is this sound journalism?

All this has nothing to do with a Catholic trustee posting a tweet insulting and derogatory to Catholics. Ashby’s tweet undermines and denigrates Catholic teaching. She was elected to defend and promote Catholic education, not to throw it under the bus. It isn’t merely about deleting the tweet. The tweet should never have been posted. Ashby should resign, which is what The Register ought to advocate but probably fears it’s not politically correct. 

Lou Iacobelli

Director, Parents As First Educators

Humble that umbrage

Reading the letter to the editor “Editorial Umbrage” by John Williams, I wondered if the author is aware that Bishop Georg Bätzing has vociferously criticized Pope Francis and dismissed Pope Francis’ recent words that the controversial German Synodal Way is unhelpful, damaging and ideologically poisoned, saying the Germans had “fundamentally different views of synodality” than Rome.

If Pope Francis has his reservations about the German bishops’ agenda, why can’t the Editor? Who needs to practice humility here?

Teresa Moran

Brampton Ont.

Relatively Rolheiser

Fr. Ron Rolheiser’s recent answer to the question of “whether suicide is an act of despair” is negative for most cases. He uses the story of Fontine in the musical Les Miserables to illustrate his point. Compassion and understanding are his undergirding reasons.

However, he centres his answer to the discretion and ability on each person in each individual case. This is humanly appealing but in our Christian life, we do not rely on our own capacity to withstand the trials of life. Human cooperation is necessary but we rely on Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life. 

Hidden in Fr. Rolheiser’s answer is the “dictatorship of relativism” if we use the words of Pope Benedict XVI. 

Rufino Ty

Brampton, Ont. 

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