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His Holiness, Saint Pope John Paul II
Dear Prime Minister,
We write to you as a group of medical professionals and concerned citizens to urge you to end the discrimination of religious people and support equality in the workforce.
Diversity, in order to be truly diverse, must respect and uphold the fundamental freedoms of all Canadians, not just those who tow the party line.
Medical students, residents, and physicians have begun to experience discrimination through denial of their right to practice according to their consciences if they do not accept your government’s dictatorial policies with the consequence their recruitment into programs and positions are obstructed, though they equally qualified. This situation is more characteristic of a totalitarian state, and therefore has no place in Canadian Society.
The consequences are fewer young doctors are entering certain specialties and others sadly compromise their moral integrity in order to sustain their careers. For mothers the situation raises the question, where will they receive care from doctors who respect their dignity, faith beliefs and decisions about their babies and families and have only one choice? Will older citizens lose their trust in the Canadian health care system as they face the end of their lives? The covenant relationship that used to exist between doctor and patient, second only to religious advisors, is being corrupted such that doctors are now becoming simply technicians with contractual agreements as service providers. Our long-term care system is unsustainable without one based on the value and dignity of each human being.
We urge you to reconsider your overbearing attitude against religious people and their employment in our country, recognizing that true democracy and diversity comes only when every voice, even those we don’t agree with, is heard and valued.
Dr. Robert Walley
Executive Director, MaterCare International (Canada)