Yukon Medical Council
Freedom of conscience and religion
Annotated Extracts and Links
Moral or Religious Beliefs
Affecting Medical Care
(1) A physician must communicate clearly and promptly about any
treatments or procedures the physician chooses not to provide because of his
or her moral or religious beliefs.
(2) A physician must not withhold information about the existence of a
procedure or treatment because providing that procedure or giving advice
about it conflicts with their moral or religious beliefs.
(3) A physician must not promote their own moral or religious beliefs
when interacting with patients.
(4) When moral or religious beliefs prevent a physician from providing or
offering access to information about a legally available medical or surgical
treatment or service,Project Annotation [i] that physician must ensure that the patient who seeks
such advice or medical care is offered timely access to another physician or
resource that will provide accurate information about all available medical
options.Project Annotation [ii]
- Terms used in the Standards of Practice:
- "Physician" means any person who is registered or who is
required to be registered under the Medical Profession Act.
- "Must" refers to a mandatory requirement.
- "May" means that the physician may exercise reasonable
- "Patient" includes, where applicable, the patient’s legal
guardian or substitute decision maker.
The policy recognizes an important distinction
between providing information and providing or
facilitating a morally contested service or
Physicians are expected to provide information
necessary to satisfy the requirements of informed
medical decision making, such as prognosis, the
treatments or procedures available, benefits and
burdens of treatment, risks, etc. Only if a
physician is unwilling to provide this information
is an offer of "timely access" to another physician
or resource required. Offering timely access
may be achieved in various ways.
Medical Assistance in Dying: Advice to the Profession (16 November,
STEP 1 - Patient makes initial inquiry for medical assistance in dying to a physician or a nurse practitioner.
Physicians who have a conscientious objection to medical assistance in dying are not obliged to proceed further through the process map and evaluate a patient’s inquiry for medical assistance in dying. As described above,Project Annotation [i] objecting physicians must provide the patient with timely access to another non-objecting physician or resource with accurate information about all available medical options.Project Annotation [ii] The objecting physician must document, in the medical record, the date on which the referral was made, and the physician, nurse practitioner and/or agency to which the referral was directed.
i. In fact, there is nothing in the preceding sections of the policy about this.
ii. The provision presumes that an objecting practitioner cannot provide accurate information about all available medical options in response to a patient inquiry. That is not necessarily true. However, the policy does not require an objecting physician to connect the patient with a colleague who provides euthanasia and assisted suicide, but only with an information resource. In the Project's experience, this would not be problematic for objecting physicians.