On September 16, the McGill Faculty of Medicine, along with its four major teaching hospitals, released a joint statement affirming its belief in providing an environment where individuals are free to choose to wear “conspicuous religious symbols.” Today, in light of the proposed Bill 60, the Medical Students’ Society of McGill University wishes to add its voice to theirs.
As medical students, we are incredibly lucky to be able to interact on a daily basis with future colleagues and professors who proudly display symbols of their religious beliefs. Contrary to what our provincial government seems to think, in no way do these symbols prevent them from carrying out their work with empathy and professionalism, just like all healthcare workers should. We consider ourselves lucky to have them as physicians and we strongly believe that they are essential members of our healthcare system. It would be simply unacceptable to us should some of our colleagues be treated as second class citizens and be forced to choose between their job and their religion.
Therefore, we salute our Faculty’s initiative and we hope that the government will realize the importance of an inclusive workplace that is open to all, regardless of their culture, their origins ,or their religion. We also invite the provincial government to consider the impact of Bill 60 on those who will be most affected by it, namely present and future physicians, nurses, or teachers to name only a few. Finally, we will make our opinion known by actively partaking in and contributing to the forthcoming public consultations set to occur at the beginning of the new calendar year.
On behalf of the Medical Students’ Society of McGill University,
Carl White Ulysse (Med-2)
Adam Parant (Med-3)
Sarah Hosseini (Med-2)
Executive Vice-President and Corporate Relations
Thierry Live (Med-3)
Vice President of Internal Affairs