Guidelines

From time to time, physicians may be confronted with situations where they may be requested to provide a treatment or procedure to which they have an objection on moral or religious grounds. In that regard, physicians should be guided by the Code of Ethics, which advises as follows:

12.  Inform your patient when your personal values would influence the recommendation or practice of any medical procedure that the patient needs or wants.

21.  Provide your patients with the information they need to make informed decisions about their medical care, and answer their questions to the best of your ability.

Based on these principles, Council believes physicians should respond to such situations as follows:

(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, 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.

 Based on the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta

04/12, amended 6/17

General Information

Address all correspondence to

Dr. Ed Schollenberg, Registrar
College of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick
One Hampton Road, Suite 300
Rothesay, NB E2E 5K8 

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