Calgary doctor’s refusal to prescribe birth control triggers outrage
Published Friday, June 27, 2014 4:56PM MDT Last Updated Friday, June 27, 2014 6:48PM MDT
A local physician’s personal stance on contraception and fertility control has infuriated some patients.
Dr. Chantelle Barry is an internist/geriatrician at Westglen Medical Clinic who provides medical treatment for walk-in patients. When Dr. Barry is on duty, a sign is posted in the waiting room indicating birth control will not be prescribed. The clinic says the temporary policy is based on the doctor’s personal beliefs.
According to representatives with the Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons, all physicians are legally entitled to refuse to provide medical service based on religious or moral grounds, but must provide patients with contact details for a doctor willing to provide the service.
Patient Joan Chand’oiseau believes personal bias has no place in the public health care system.
“It is offensive to me because it contains overt judgment of my choices and my reproductive health,” said Chand’oiseau. “I think that affects everyone in that clinic regardless of whether or not they’re visiting that doctor.”
“Having the sign present, bolded, in yellow highlighter, so that it is not to be missed, is judging every single person in that clinic.”