University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine UGME
Conscientious Objection Policy & Form
The Faculty of Medicine recognizes that for reasons of commonly-held ethical and religious
beliefs, some students may wish not to involve themselves with certain medical procedures
or services. Out of respect for such beliefs, the Faculty of Medicine will respect
conscientious objection by students if all of the following criteria are met:
1. A conscientious objection does not relieve a medical student from a duty to meet the
current standard of timely and acceptable medical care, to engage in full and
nonselective disclosure for Informed Consent, to inform patients of their conditions,
prognoses, and risks of receiving care services for their illness, condition, or health-
2. Patients cannot be abandoned. Any student who wishes to excuse him or herself
must find another student to provide service to patients.
3. A medical student cannot object to provide a service if the patient's condition, in the
judgment of an attending physician, requires immediate action and that student’s
assistance is required to provide that service. This is particularly important if the
patient’s life is in jeopardy.
4. A medical student may not be allowed to object to medical service during a public
5. A medical student shall not object to participate in the care of a specified
classification or group of people, or on the basis of particular diseases or states of
health or illness.
6. A medical student shall not object to provide or participate in a health care service if
this objection amounts to discrimination in contravention of the University of
Manitoba Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy, the Manitoba Human
Rights Code, the Code of Conduct of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of
Manitoba, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
7. A conscientious objection must not be so broad as to limit a student’s general
medical education. If a conscientious objection constrains a student’s ability to
provide the current standard of medical care, the Faculty of Medicine may require
that student to withdraw from medical school.
8. An objection to participate in any service or delivery of care does not exempt the
student from the responsibility to learn about its indications, contraindications,
benefits and risks. A student will not be exempted to demonstrate this knowledge
on any examination.
9. All curricular or clinical time missed through an excused exemption must be made up
10. When a conscientious objection might compromise completion of the curriculum, this
matter will be discussed by the appropriate evaluation committees, and if necessary,
by the Committee on Academic Standing and the Faculty Executive Council.
Students can represent themselves at these meetings in accordance with Faculty of
11. If, in the course of a conscientious objection, a student engages in behaviour which
the Faculty of Medicine considers unacceptable for a physician, the Faculty may
require that student to withdraw from medical school on the basis of improper
Procedure to Seek a Conscientious Objection:
Conscientious objections must be submitted to the Associate Dean for UGME on a
Conscientious Objection Request and Declaration form as far in advance of the contested
service as possible. On this form, the student must explain the nature and rationale for
their conscientious objection. Acceptable rationales must reflect religious or ethical views
commonly known to the general community. A student seeking a conscientious objection
must explain how they intend to meet the current standards of medical care for patients,
including full disclosure and discussion of all treatment options. Students will be required to
discuss their request with the Associate Dean for UGME or Student Affairs who will confer
and come to a decision.
So long as the criteria in this policy are met, the Associate Dean for UGME or Student Affairs
will sign the Conscientious Objection Declaration and the Faculty of Medicine will honour a
student’s conscientious objection during Undergraduate Medical Education.
Once the conscientious objection has been signed by the Associate Dean, one copy will go
into the student’s file and another copy will be given to the student to discuss with
appropriate clinical supervisors.
As necessary, the Faculty of Medicine will provide reasonable clinical or educational
accommodation to support the student’s medical studies in light of a conscientious
Conscientious Objection Request and Declaration
Student: ________________________Class of: _______ Block/ Rotation: _________
Activity/Service Objected: ______________________________________________
Date of Activity/Service: ________________________________________________
Student’s Declaration of Objection:
In assertion and practice of this Conscientious Objection:
• I will meet the current standard of medical care, including full and nonselective informed consent
• I will not abandon any patient, especially in a life threatening situation.
• I will not refuse to assist during a public health emergency.
• I will not discriminate against any selected group(s) of people/patients.
• I will not contravene any code that governs my behavior as a medical student.
• I remain responsible for cognitive knowledge about the indications, contraindications, benefits and
risks of the activity/service to which I object.
• Any curricular time missed due to this objection will be otherwise made up.
Associate Dean’s Remarks (UGME or Student Affairs):
This Conscientious Objection meets all policy criteria YES NO
THIS CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION IS TO BE HONOURED YES NO
DURING UNDERGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA.
Associate Dean’s Signature: Date: