Bill will make it a crime to force health care workers to take part in euthanasia
OTTAWA, April 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s leading pro-life group, Campaign Life Coalition, is asking Canadians to get behind a private member’s bill that will make it a crime to intimidate health care workers to force them to directly or indirectly take part in euthanasia.
Tabled last fall by Conservative member of Parliament David Anderson, the bill will also make it a crime to fire or not hire health care workers for their refusal to cooperate in any way with killing their patients by medical means.
The Protection of Freedom of Conscience Act, or Bill C-418, is expected to be debated in Parliament May 29, according to an action alert from Jeff Gunnarson, president of Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s national pro-life, pro-family political lobbying group.
“As we speak, doctors across Canada are being coerced and intimidated to violate their consciences with respect to euthanasia. This has already led some to quit their practice, and others to move out of country,” said Gunnarson.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government legalized the medical killing of patients in June 2016, following the Supreme Court in February 2015 striking down the Criminal Code prohibition of euthanasia as unconstitutional.
“Two years ago, taking a patient’s life was culpable homicide. Although the law now permits euthanasia, many doctors’ consciences will not,” noted Campaign Life’s website.
“The Supreme Court of Canada has explicitly said that the legalization of euthanasia did not entail a duty of physicians to provide it.”
However, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) now requires that doctors who morally object to euthanasia, as well as to abortion, provide an effective referral, that is, to a willing and accessible physician, to patients who request these “medical services.”
A group of Ontario Christian doctors challenged the CPSO policy in court as unconstitutional and lost.
An Ontario Superior Court ruled in January 2018 that while CPSO policy does violate the doctors’ Charter rights, it is a “reasonable limit” of those Charter rights in the context of “ensuring access to health care.”
The court also ruled the CPSO policy requiring conscientiously objecting physicians perform euthanasia or abortion themselves in unspecified “emergency” situations is also reasonable.
The group of five doctors and three associations — Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians’ Societies Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada and Canadian Physicians for Life — have appealed the decision and are now awaiting a ruling.
“I believe it’s time to stand up for doctors and health care providers who aren’t willing to leave their core ethics behind when they’re at a patient’s bedside,” wrote Anderson, M.P. for the Saskatchewan riding of Cypress Hills-Grassland, about his bill.
“The protection of conscience rights for medical professionals is part of protecting the fundamental freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed to all Canadians in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” he said.
Campaign Life is urging supporters to make their M.P.s “aware of the bill and ask them to voice their support for this legislation” before the bill comes up for second reading in May.
“The more people that know about Bill C-418, the higher the likelihood that it will pass in the House of Commons.”
For more information on Campaign Life Coalition’s Bill C-418 action alert, go here.