Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Brad The Impaler

When he's not sticking it to his fellow Tories, how does Brad Trost, Conservative Member of Parliament for the riding of Saskatoon—Humboldt, spend his days?

Trying to defund International Planned Parenthood, of course. He's got a petition to the HOC going that would cut their government funding. One thing he's pissed off about:

The IPPF does not support physicians' freedom to practice according to their conscience and/or religious beliefs regarding abortion referral.

Note we're talking abortion referral here, not abortion per se. Brad thinks Christian docs should be able to refuse to even tell women seeking abortions where they might get one. IPP's declaration on the matter reads:

5.3 Health care professionals have the right to conscientious objection with regard to providing contraception and abortion services only if they can refer the client to health professionals willing to provide the service immediately. No such right exists in emergency cases where lives are at risk.

But that ain't good enough for Brad.

Note that IPP is funded through CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency). That's Bev Oda's department...for now. Keep your head down, Bev.


Ti-Guy said...

It's like he just photocopied the major points of the Republican platform and presented those as his own.

When did the good prairie folk become so Americanised? I'm sure it has something to do with their fucking fundagelical churches. We really need to defund those (all of them, in fact) for political activism. I really can't support the argument that people's religious beliefs have a legitimate place in politics anymore.

Robert G. Harvie, Q.C. said...

TG - as per my post yesterday, I'm all for removing vestiges of theocracy from government.. however, I admit to having some concern over the state telling doctors:

a) you can't work privately; and
b) because we pay you, you have to do what we want, even if it is directly in oppostion to your religious beliefs.

Separation of Church and state has to work both ways.. and freedom of religion means not only to be free FROM other people's religion, but to be free to practice your own without state interference as well.

While you may be content in your world view, I think we have to respect some doctors who feel that abortion is, literally, murder. And whether I agree with it or not, referring someone to another doctor is, no doubt, in their mind like connecting someone to a hitman.

I understand the concern from the other perspective, but it strikes me as draconian to tell a fundamental Catholic that to do their job, they have to check their faith at the door..

RuralSandi said...

"Then came the mandarin from Manitoba [Lloyd Axworthy], the whiner from Winnipeg who now lavishes upon himself as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He has begged for political pork, dined diplomats and grovelled for government goodies. Who could forget the hyena from Hamilton [Sheila Copps] who shrieked and shrilled her way under the public's skin..."

- Conservative Defence critic Rob Anders, trained to work in dirty tricks by the U.S. Republican Party, in his first ever speech to the House of Commons, Oct. 2, 1997 Hansard.

.....yup, this is where they learn.

RuralSandi said...

SO, if a doctor is a Jahovah's Witness should he be able to refuse blood transfusions?

Unknown said...

Interesting comment from in his March 23rd, 2009 post.

"The point is: A democratic society only functions properly when citizens enjoy freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. People who disagree with the opinions of their fellow Canadians should not fear to express such opinions in public. Politicians, special interest groups and our Human Rights Commission commissars shouldn’t threaten one’s employment, engage in implied threats or use the power of the state to coerce people to be silent, In contrast, I believe in toleration. Too bad we can’t say that for all Canadian politicians and political activists."

Seems like that belief does not stretch to fellow Conservatives.

Ti-Guy said...

however, I admit to having some concern over the state telling doctors:

Focus, Rob. Focus.

Not every issue is the same thing. Some positions can be accommodated within a diverse, liberal, democratic society and some can't.

I'm actually not serious about defunding religious institutions. I've just given up on the media's ability to expose them. The media is all too happy, for example, to report on Charles McVety's latest statement but is, for some reason, unwilling, to expose the network of American-based fly-by-night ministries that have provided him with the authority he doesn't deserve.

Ti-Guy said...

By the way, Rob, with respect to this:

"a) you can't work privately; and
b) because we pay you, you have to do what we want, even if it is directly in oppostion to your religious beliefs."

In Canada, it's the professional associations that set the standards for professional conduct. You know that.

Robert G. Harvie, Q.C. said...

Technically, that is correct, TG, however, there is currently a push by the National Abortion Federation to suggest that a refusal to perform abortions or refer patients to doctors who will, are breaching Human Rights legislation.

Who enforces Human Rights in this country? Yes, that would be the government..

Don't get me wrong.. Trost is an embrassment to the party, and those who stand with him are likewise.. but regarding the particular issue, being the slightly libertarian sort that I am, I support the right of a physician to follow their own conscience.. and if that means JW's won't perform a blood transfusion, well, fair enough.

Who am I to say where someone else's conscience has to coincide with mine?

buckets said...

Rob. Like everything there's got to be some balance here. No reasonable person, surely, expects every licensed physician to perform abortions. But move the principle a few notches and consider whether a doctor can refuse (say) to prescribe or refer a sexually active teen to someone to get birth control, or a pharmacist has the right not to fill certain prescriptions because of their own moral preferences, and we're getting pretty close to what strikes me as professional malpractice.

Ti-Guy said...

...that a refusal to perform abortions or refer patients to doctors who will...

Those are really two vastly different choices in clinical care.

Again, you need to focus. You seem to be looking for evidence to support an entrenched belief; the same old libertarian one that maintains that everyone should just do what they want and "the market" will sort things out.

Other than its fantasy quality, I don't necessarily have a burning moral objection to that belief, but picking and choosing evidence is not a way to support it.