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A watchdog in need of a leash: Ontario College of Physicians manipulates consultation process

Following a preliminary consultation ending in August, 2014, a working group at the College of Physicians and Surgeons released a draft policy called Professional Obligations and Human Rights (POHR) in December for a second stage of consultation ending on 20 February, 2015. The most contentious element in POHR is a requirement that physicians who object to a procedure for reasons of conscience must help the patient find a colleague who will provide it.

The consultation process is intended to provide the public and members of the profession an opportunity to comment on policies being developed by the College. One of the strands in the consultation process is a Discussion Forum on the College website. The Forum is used to solicit direct feedback from forum participants. In addition, the College uses the Forum to post submissions received by email and regular mail.

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