Photo credit: Arina P. Habich via Shutterstock.

Photo credit: Arina P. Habich via Shutterstock.

Only months after the Canadian Parliament approved legal assisted suicide, Catholic hospitals, palliative care centers and individual doctors have been put on the defensive amid calls to require them to help patients kill themselves.

Five doctors have filed a legal challenge against the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario for its policy that requires doctors who refuse to participate in assisted suicide and abortion to refer those patients to other doctors.

“In my view, it’s the future of Catholic healthcare that’s at stake,” said their spokesman, Larry Worthen. “No other jurisdiction outside of Canada where assisted suicide is legal requires referral.”

He said the college has been “extremely aggressive” in its handling of their case. The doctors are being cross-examined about their religious beliefs. One is Catholic, while four are evangelical Christians.

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