are, in the short term, a range of symptoms associated with anxiety
and emotional distress and, in the longer term if left unaddressed,
more serious physical conditions and depression.
 The extent to which “moral distress” is a recognized psychological condition is not clear from the record. I also note that
an objecting physician has options available to him or her to avoid
the moral conflict and the emotional stress and anxiety associated
with such conflict. However, given the conclusions reached below,
it is not necessary to make a determination regarding the significance of this alleged cost or burden of the Policies.
Balancing the salutary and deleterious effects
 Having identified the deleterious effects that can result
from the infringement of the individual applicants’ freedom of religion, it is necessary to balance these deleterious effects against
the salutary effects of the Policies in order to determine whether
the overall impact of the effective referral requirements of the
Policies is proportionate.
 Before doing so, I note that this assessment is being made
in a social context in which the following three considerations are
 First, the applicants argue that the only Charter issues
engaged in these proceedings are the rights of freedom of religion
of the individual applicants and other objecting religious physicians. They suggest that, on this basis, the protection of such
rights under s. 2(a) of the Charter should govern the proportionality analysis.
 However, the Policies are directed toward ensuring access
to health care by patients who request medical procedures or
pharmaceuticals to which religious physicians may object. Access
to health care and, in particular, the right of patients to equitable
access to health care services available under our publicly funded
health care system, are important goals in their own right.
 Further, in my view, the latter also engages a Charter
right of patients. In making this statement, I do not suggest that
the Charter confers a free-standing constitutional right to
healthcare: see Chaoulli, per Major J., at para. 104, which states
that it does not. However, I do think that s. 7 of the Charter confers a right to equitable access to such medical services as are
legally available in Ontario and provided under the provincial
health care system. Such a right is a natural corollary of the right
of each individual under s. 7 to “life, liberty and security of the
person”. Further, as Wilson J. noted in R. v. Morgentaler, supra,
s. 7 is concerned with the fundamental concepts of human dignity, individual autonomy and privacy. The right of equitable access