Same-sex couple complains about Winnipeg doctor
Published Tuesday, January 27, 2009 6:24PM CST
A Winnipeg couple is searching for a new doctor, after their first visit with one doctor was also their last.
The same sex couple feels they were denied treatment, because of their sexual orientation.
"We weren't braced for a potential problem, because we've never had a problem with a doctor," explains Andrea Markowski.
Markowski and her partner say they had a problem with Doctor Kamelia Elias who works at a Winnipeg clinic.
Markowski says it really was the other way around saying the doctor had a problem with them.
"I directly asked her if our sexual orientation was causing a problem for her in terms of her ability to care for us, and she said yes," said Markowski.
Doctor Elias commented only through her attorney who tells CTV News that the doctor feels this has been a misunderstanding, and blown out of proportion.
Doctor Elias says she never refused to treat the couple. Instead she was only sharing information about her religious beliefs and inexperience in treating homosexual patients.
The director of the medical clinic says the doctor lacked exposure to homosexual patients in her previous practices in Egypt and Steinbach.
University of Manitoba Ethics professor Arthur Schafer says doctors cannot refuse to treat patients because they disagree with the patients' lifestyle.
"If the evidence shows this doctor, whatever reason she gave, was discriminating on the grounds of sexual orientation then she should be disciplined," says Schafer.
Andrea and Ginette Markowski say they've filed a complaint with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba.
Doctor Bill Pope from the College of Physicians and Surgeons says the matter must be investigated fully, but says it may be that doctors, especially foreign trained doctors, need more education before practicing in Manitoba. That is something Andrea Markowski would support.
With a report from CTV's Jon Hendricks