Save the Right to Conscientious Objection

Christina Odone has blogged today on this upcoming vote in the Council of Europe. Sign the appeal against it. Odone writes...

'Socialists at the Council of Europe (yes, the same entity that brought you the European Convention on Human Rights) have been very busy lately. A Ms Carina Hagg of the Swedish Socialist Group and Ms Christine McCafferty of the UK Socialist Group are scheming to name and shame conscientious objectors in the medical profession who refuse to carry out abortions, hand out birth control devices or engage in euthanasia. McCafferty even suggests that European governments should set up a register of those who will not cut their conscience to suit the fashion of secular socialists.

Conscience, once regarded as a positive asset, is seen by today’s Euro-socialists as a bigot’s charter to block abortion, birth control and euthanasia. Conscientious objection may be a universal human right under international law, but the right to medical intervention – even when it is to end life rather than sustain it – trumps faith every time. This is dogma, and it is deadly. Conscientious objectors are not fanatics who want to force their religious views down others’ throats: their  principled stands often protect the vulnerable, from the octagenarian to the unborn child.'

Mark Shea has alerted me to an online appeal against the vote in the Council of Europe.

'On 7th October 2010, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will put to vote a resolution to "regulate the right to conscientious objection" in the field of health care.

An official list of objectors will be established, opening the door widely to vexations and professional discriminations.

Even more serious, healthcare providers will find themselves constrained to collaborate "in case of emergency" in acts that their conscience condemns. abortion, sterilisation, euthanasia...

Let us defend freedom of conscience! The vote on 7th October depends on our mobilisation. Read the draft resolution and recommendation.'

Please sign the appeal online immediately.


georgem said…
Already signed, prompted by one of your posters recently.
It is a shocking piece of legislation which is being proposed.
Bryan said…
Dear Laurence,

Thank you for publicisiing this matter. Looks as if the objections to the text were supported by the majority.

According to the Council of Europe website:

"The right to conscientious objection in lawful medical care

The Assembly today emphasized the need to affirm the right of conscientious objection in lawful medical care.

At the end of a debate on the subject during which the text presented by the Committee on Social Affairs was substantially amended, the adopted resolution states that "no person and no hospital or institution shall be coerced, held liable or discriminated against in any manner because of a refusal to perform, accommodate, assist or submit to an abortion […]".

The adopted text invites member states to develop comprehensive and clear regulations that define and regulate conscientious objection with regard to health and medical services."

and the full text of the resolution can be found here:

The right to conscientious objection in lawful medical care

Resolution 1763 (2010)1

3. the vast majority of Council of Europe member states, the practice of conscientious objection is adequately regulated. There is a comprehensive and clear legal and policy framework governing the practice of conscientious objection by healthcare providers ensuring that the interests and rights of individuals seeking legal medical services are respected, protected and fulfilled.

1 Assembly debate on 7 October 2010 (35th Sitting) (see Doc. 12347, report of the Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mrs McCafferty, and Doc. 12389, opinion of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, rapporteur: Mrs Circene). Text adopted by the Assembly on 7 October 2010 (35th Sitting)."

Thanks again.