Ottawa lawyer Albertos Polizogopoulos says the regulatory body for Ontario physicians and surgeons has a serious Charter abuse habit and requires Premier Doug Ford’s immediate intervention.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (“CPSO”) has spent hundreds of thousands in legal fees to limit Charter-protected rights of Ontario physicians and citizens. The Ontario government must act. It must stop the CPSO’s attack on Charter rights.
In January 2019, I argued a case at the Ontario Court of Appeal challenging a regulatory policy developed by the CPSO, a quasi-governmental body that regulates the practice of medicine in Ontario. The policy required all physicians to actively participate in providing medical services or pharmaceuticals through what’s called an “effective referral.” No exemption was allowed for religious or conscientious objections.
The Court acknowledged the policy violated the physicians’ Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ guarantees to freedom of conscience and religion. Nevertheless, it upheld the violations as necessary in a free and democratic society. The CPSO justified the policy as being within its statutory mandate to “protect the public interest.”
In February this year, a CPSO committee disciplined a physician for posting tweets to her personal account questioning the efficacy of Public Health Ontario’s approaches to dealing with COVID-19. It’s a clear violation of freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression, which are also protected by the Charter.
That was followed, in April, by the announcement of a policy prohibiting physicians from making any statement that might be considered as opposing COVID-19 vaccines, the wearing of masks (including non-medical masks), and any criticism of COVID -19 lockdown rules. It also prohibits provision of or support for “unproven” COVID -19 treatments. Unfathomably, it does not specify which treatments are proven and ...