a recent editorial in The Globe and Mail began: “A physician who is predisposed by faith to make negative moral judgments about
a patient is a bad doctor.”
It went on to comment on a draft policy
of the College of Physicians and Surgeons
of Ontario that will regulate the practices
of its members.
Of course, that quoted opening line is
a moral judgment about making moral
It presumes that certain moral judgments, such as those of the editorial
writer, are allowable, but that judgments
grounded in faith are bad.
This is the common wisdom of our day,
which recognizes many moral pro-
nouncements except for faith-based
ones. Instead we hear calls for those to
be privatized and excluded from public
venues and within professions.
This proposed medical policy assumes
that we need to be protected from the
truth that not all doctors can in good
conscience affirm all medical treatments – that a procedure which might
be legal might not be universally endorsed by all doctors.
The argument is that giving voice to
such truths might cause patients to reconsider – and we should be protected from
needing to do so.
The issues affected by this policy are
about life and death. As the Globe editorial
explains, the policy would apply to a doc-
tor refusing to prescribe “birth-control
medication.” It would also cover proced-
ures such as abortion, the morning-after
pill and, if it becomes legalized, assisted
suicide and euthanasia.
The policy would require doctors who
refuse these procedures to ensure patients
can get them elsewhere – making the
doctor personally complicit in that which
she believes is immoral.
In some cases, the policy would even
require the doctor to do the procedure
herself regardless of her convictions.
The Globe editorial suggests that doctors who cannot comply should resign
from the profession.
What clearer example could there be of
the moral judgment of the majority trying
court date with TWu
Are people of faith allowed to
express their sincere religious
beliefs and practise a profession at
the same time? The EFC intervened
in a judicial review involving our
affiliate Trinity Western University
and the Nova Scotia Barristers’
Society in December. At issue is
the society’s vote to place special
restrictions on graduates who
come to the province from TWU’s
proposed law school, a decision
also made by law societies in
several other provinces. Find more
details, including a decision on the
Nova Scotia case when announced,
at www.theEFC.ca/ TWUlaw.
EFC President Bruce J. Clemenger
published some new online
commentaries recently. “Autonomy
and the 6th Commandment”
reflects on arguments for
euthanasia put forward in October
at the Supreme Court in the Carter
case. “Protecting Minority Rights
From the Majority” reflects on
TWU and the Law Society of B.C.
“Prayer at Government Meetings”
reflects on the Saguenay case
on prayer and religious freedom
heard at the Supreme Court in
October. Read these and more at
Pictures are now available
from some of the EFC’s 50th
celebrations at www.theEFC.ca/50.
Join in the festivities and see how
many faces you can recognize.
do you read the king
The King James Version is the
most popular Bible according to
what people tell pollsters. But it’s
actually not the translation that
gets read the most. Learn more
in the Bible Translation Choice in
Canada 2013 report (available at
This new research paper by the
News FROM THE EFC
making moral judgments
Will we all remain free to make countercultural, faith-based choices?
THE GATHERING PLACE
BRucE J. clEmENgER
Find out about news stories
like these and more at
Learn how to take action on
the issues you care about at
Visit Faith Today and
the EFC on Facebook
and Twitter for breaking news, great
links and lively discussion.
EFC’s Rick Hiemstra is the second
in a series based on the Canadian
Bible Engagement Study, a
partnership between the EFC and
the Canadian Bible Forum.
New year’s calendar
• The annual EFC prayer summit
for bilingual and francophone
ministry leaders is Jan. 26–28
in Granby, Que.
• Missions Fest season starts off
Jan. 30–Feb. 1 in Vancouver,
then Feb. 20–22 in Edmonton.
• Visit www.theEFC.ca/calendar
to find out what else is new or
to publicize your own event.
Evangelicals hold high-
A delegation of the World
Evangelical Alliance led by
Canadian Geoff Tunnicliffe met
Nov. 6 with Pope Francis and